Review of Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando

Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñandoStill Dreaming / Seguimos soñando
by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez; illus. by Magdalena Mora; trans. into Spanish by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite
Primary    Children’s/Lee & Low    40 pp.    g
10/22    978-0-89239-434-0    $20.95
e-book ed.  978-0-89239-477-7    $20.95

This book’s bilingual text tells the story of a young child and his parents as they leave the United States for Mexico during the repatriation process in the 1930s—an overlooked part of U.S. history. The child’s family—mother and son were born in the United States; Papá was born in Mexico—harvests pecans in Texas until new immigration policies and the threat of deportation force them to move to Mexico to keep their family together. Martínez’s straightforward prose centers the boy’s feelings of sadness, uncertainty, and hope as he leaves his home behind for a place he and Mamá only know about from Papá’s stories. The cool colors of Mora’s dreamlike gouache, ink, and digital illustrations offer reassurance as the family drives toward their future. An appended author’s note details a difficult history of forced migration shared by many, while the story emphasizes the importance of family and ultimately feels optimistic. Butterflies—a contemporary symbol of the immigrants’ rights movement—are included on most pages. This motif and the author’s note contextualize the historically set narrative within the continued struggle for immigrants’ rights.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monica de los Reyes

Monica de los Reyes is editorial assistant for The Horn Book, Inc.

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