Hello there, readers: This week’s ¡Mira, Look! is a double header! I’ve reviewed two wonderful children’s books regarding one of January’s theme’s- immigration. These books, written by the same author, offer two beautifully crafted stories that bring to light the tragic reality that many first- and second-generation immigrant children must deal with: family separation.
In these stories, the protagonists cross the border in order to be reunited with their mothers. The two books complement each other and reflect the diversity of immigrant experiences and legal situations. They depict situations on different sides of the north/south border spectrum: a boy who migrates north through Central America to reunite with his mother, and a boy who heads south to Mexico to visit his mother who has been deported.
The first book we will look at is My Shoes and I, written by René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. Here is a review from Goodreads:
A timely and inspiring story. Mario is leaving his home in El Salvador. With his father by his side, he is going north to join his mother, who lives in the United States. She has sent Mario a new pair of shoes. He will need good shoes because the journey north will be long and hard. He and his father will cross the borders of three countries. They will walk for miles, ride buses, climb mountains, and cross a river. Mario has faith in his shoes. He believes they will take him anywhere. On this day, they will take him to the United States, where his family will be reunited.
This book, reminiscent of an adventure story, depicts the journey that Mario undergoes with his father across Central America to reunite with his mother in the U.S. The book delicately includes a glimpse of the dangerous aspects of this migration that Mario endures, such as being chased by dogs, escaping out of a flooded trailer, and crossing a raging river. As Mario’s shoes deteriorate, he does not give up on them, but rather sings them a lullaby and reassures them that they will make it.
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