Review of The Little House of Hope

The Little House of Hope The Little House of Hope
by Terry Catasús Jennings; illus. by Raúl Colón
Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g
6/22    978-0-8234-4716-9    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5301-6    $11.99
Spanish ed.  978-0-8234-5203-3    $18.99

A “little house” is at the center of this story about generosity among members of an extended immigrant family and the stability they provide for one another. When Esperanza, her brother, and their parents emigrate from Cuba, they need a place to live that “doesn’t cost too much money.” They find la casita. “Even though they were far from home, the family was together. They were safe. They were happy in la casita.” In an ­economical and sensory-rich text, Jennings describes the family’s new life in the U.S. Esperanza’s parents each work two jobs, and she and her brother have responsibilities around the house. “After work and after school,” la casita holds “the scrumptious smells of beans and sofrito and plantains—the memories of home bubbling in Mami’s pots.” Relatives arrive from Cuba, and later a family from Mexico: “La casita offered a home for those who didn’t have a place to go.” Colón’s (Imagine!, rev. 9/18) signature crosshatched drawings bring out the house’s character. His watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations in a palette of muted greens, blues, and oranges show the many roles la casita plays as it evolves, expanding to become a haven for hope. In her author’s note, Jennings shares her own immigrant family’s experiences. Simultaneously published in Spanish as La casita de esperanza. ­

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.