"An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story"-- - (Baker & Taylor)
Traces the journey the author and her son made in 1994, when they immigrated from Mexico to the United States. - (Baker & Taylor)
Winner of the 2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award!
A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018
In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed.
She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.
Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.
The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi's own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book.
A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available.
A 2019 Boston Globe - Horn Book Honor Recipient
An Anna Dewdney Read Together Honor Book
An instant New York Times bestseller, with seven starred reviews
Named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, NPR, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Salon.com-- and many more!
A Junior Library Guild selection
A Eureka! Nonfiction Honoree
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon title
Recipient of the Flora Stieglitz Strauss Award
A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
A CLA Notable Children's Book in Language Arts - (Random House, Inc.)
*Starred Review* Yuyi Morales and her son are dreamers—the books they read allow them to imagine a new life in a new country that doesn't always welcome them. Based on her own immigration tale, the multi-award-winning Morales' newest picture book recounts the challenges and wonders of living in a new country. She and her son experience discrimination because they don't always know the rules and customs of their new home. English becomes a barrier that makes it difficult for them to fully comprehend the world around them. Despite it all, Morales and her son find hope in the books of their local library, and their voracious reading leads them to create their own books. The narrative text is poetic and full of emotion. The English version is sprinkled with Spanish words like migrantes, caminantes, and amor, which monolingual readers will understand from the context of the story. In classic Morales style, the mixed-media illustrations are breathtaking, created through painting, drawing, photography, and embroidery. The joyous imagination and intricacy of each illustration will make readers of all ages explore them further. The pages with the library, for example, depict the covers of other significant Latinx children's books like Carmen Lomas Garza's In My Family / En mi familia (2000) and Jorge Argueta's A Movie in My Pillow / Una pelicula en mi almohada (2001). This rich offering launches the new Neal Porter Books imprint and can be paired with Duncan Tonatiuh's Undocumented: A Worker's Fight? (2018) for its focus on the Latinx immigrant experience. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
Two "migrantes," a mother and her infant son, arrive on "the other side." Here they meet cultural challenges (customs, language) that are resolved at the San Francisco Public Library, with its "unimaginable" wealth of books that offer paths to literacy, community, even a career. Occasional Spanish words enrich the succinct, gently poetic text, illustrated with rich and vibrant pen-and-ink, acrylic, and collage art. Back matter sets the narrative in personal and historical context. Concurrently published in Spanish as Soqadores. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Two pairs of eyes shine from the cover of Morales's book—the infant's eyes brilliant with curiosity, his mother's gaze pensive. These two "migrantes" arrive on "the other side, / thirsty, in awe, / unable to go back." Here they meet cultural challenges (customs, language) that are resolved at the San Francisco Public Library, with its welcoming staff and "unimaginable" wealth of books. These offer paths to literacy, community, even a career: the stellar picture books Morales found there inspired her to create her own. Nicely recognizable in the art, they're also identified in a lengthy list of "Books That Inspired Me (and Still Do)." Enriching the artist's palette of turquoise, indigo, crimson, magenta, and gold, another migrant—a vibrant orange monarch butterfly—flits freely throughout. Folkloric figures, too, engage in the action, while the diaphanous garment from which the mother seems to emerge—it's like flowers, feathers, flame—protects and propels her. Occasional Spanish words enrich the succinct, gently poetic text. Back matter includes "My Story," setting the narrative in personal and historical context (Morales came to the U.S. in 1994); a note describes the natural and culturally significant materials used in the pen-and-ink, acrylic, and collage art. A wise book and, to praise it in its own words, "resplendent," an eloquent vision of the "resilience" and "hope" of the "dreamers, soñadores of the world." Concurrently published in Spanish as Soñadores. joanna rudge long Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales' latest offers an immigrant's tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love. This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. Soon after, mother and son step on a bridge, expansive "like the universe," to cross to the other side, to become immigrants. An ethereal city appears, enfolded in fog. The brown-skinned woman and her child walk through this strange new land, unwilling to speak, unaccustomed to "words unlike those of our ancestors." But soon their journey takes them to the most marvelous of places: the library. In a series of stunning double-page spreads, Morales fully captures the sheer bliss of discovery as their imaginations take flight. The vibrant, surreal mixed-media artwork, including Mexican fabric, metal sheets, "the comal where I grill my quesadillas," childhood drawings, and leaves and plants, represents a spectacular culmination of the author's work thus far. Presented in both English and Spanish editions (the latter in Teresa Mlawer's translation), equal in evocative language, the text moves with purpose. No word is unnecessary, each a deliberate steppingstone onto the next. Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as "soñadores of the world." A resplendent masterpiece. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
In warm, sparkling prose that moves easily from English to Spanish and back, Caldecott Honor artist Morales (Viva Frida) traces the journey that she and her small son took in 1994, when they immigrated from Mexico to the United States. ("My Story," included after the text, supplies the details.) A woman and a child struggle to understand the rules as they explore San Francisco. (When the two play in a public fountain, a policeman approaches, hands on hips; "Ay!" the mother cries in dismay.) Then they discover the library: "Suspicious./ Improbable./ Unbelievable./ Surprising." It's a miraculous oasis—countless books to borrow, information about everything in the world. There, she says, "We learned to read,/ to speak,/ to write,/ and/ to make/ our voices heard." As the languages blend, so do the images. Mexican motifs—a genial skeleton, a painted dog, embroidered flowers—dance through the pages, keeping mother and son company on their journey, and the library shelves swoop and curve, embracing them. (Readers will recognize favorite titles among the carefully painted book covers.) Many books about immigration describe the process of making new friends and fitting in; this one describes what it's like to become a creative being in two languages, and to learn to love in both. "We are two languages./ We are lucha./ We are resilience./ We are hope." A Spanish-language version will be published simultaneously. Ages 4–8. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.
School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 3—The acclaimed creator of Niño Wrestles the World and Viva Frida has crafted another masterpiece in this autobiographical picture book. From her son's birth to their move to the United States from Mexico in the mid-1990s to their often fraught- and barrier-filled life, the tale highlights the many obstacles immigrants face while trying to survive in a new country that doesn't readily welcome non—English-speaking people of color. The pair encounters respite at the library where, with the help of librarians, they find a home in the children's section. The dreamlike, lyrical text captures the wonder of childhood, learning, and discovery through books. The magical art marries the succinct and powerful narrative in a resplendent celebration of literacy, language, and the transformative power of the picture book form. Readers will delight in finding Morales's tributes to kid lit classics, new and old, throughout the spreads. The majestic illustrations often incorporate Mexican traditions and mythology and they resound with mythic imagery, speaking volumes about the love and dreams shared between mother and child. Morales explains in an author's note that she and her son are not "Dreamers" in the modern sense—"young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children"—but dreamers in the sense of all immigrants who come to a new country. Also appended are a thorough list of the books referenced in the artwork and a fascinating note on the materials used in the creation of this work, including a nib pen that once belonged to Maurice Sendak, scanned images of Morales's studio floor, her and her son's childhood drawings, and more. VERDICT This excellent memoir encapsulates the fears, hopes, and dreams that come along with immigrating to a new place and building a new life in an unfamiliar and often hostile landscape. A timely and much-needed selection.—Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal
Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.