The Heart of Mi Familia
Carrie Lara, Author
Christine Battuz, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Nov. 10, 2020
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Bicultural families, Intergenerational relationships, Identity, Culture, Traditions, Bilingual
Opening: “In my home, two worlds become one. My family is a mix of dos culturas, I am bicultural.”
Book Jacket Synopsis:
My mommy was born in the United States. My daddy was born in Central America. In, my home, two worlds become one.
Follow a young girl as she works with her abuela and her grandma to create a wonderful birthday present for her brother that celebrates her multicultural family and honors both sides and generations of her family. This follow up to the award winning Marvelous Maravilliso: Me and My Beautiful Family is a must-read for all families.
Why I like this book:
Carrie Lara has written a heartwarming story about a little girl who is proudly shares her bicultural family. Her mother was born in the United States and her family traveled on a ship from Europe. Her dad was born in Central America and came to the US by bus with his parents as a boy. She shares her culturally-rich visits to her abuela’s home near the ocean during the summer months. And she visits her grandparent’s vineyard home in the autumn, when the pumpkins are ripe for picking.
The story is laced with a lot of Spanish words that children will easily remember. The girl shares how lucky she is to visit and celebrate two different cultures because she can include all those traditions — foods, music, games, artwork and language — at home in her own blended family gatherings.
This story is based on the author’s own bicultural family life experiences. So she speaks from experience. It is a treasure for bicultural families to use as a discussion book with their children. Kids need to see themselves in stories. And, teachers will find creative ways to use it in their classrooms! Christine Battuz’s illustrations are beautiful! They are colorful and happy, and love of family shines through each illustration.
Resources: There is a Reader’s Note to parents to help them work with their children to acknowledge the differences, encourage them to explore their cultural histories, talk about cultural identity and help them deal with discrimination. A must read for teachers too!
Carrie Lara specializes in working with children and families on child and human development, including foster and adoptive youth, those with learning disabilities and special education, and children dealing with trauma, using attachment-based play therapy. She lives in Sonoma County, CA. Visit her at FB @authorcarrielara.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Reviewed from a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.