PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: All the Places We Call Home by Patrice Gopo & Jenin Mohammed



ABOUT THE BOOK

Fall in love with this lyrically written and lushly illustrated exploration of identity and home that celebrates all the places and people who make us who we are.

"And where shall we go?" Mama asks as she tucks me in.

"South Africa. Where I was born."

My answer summons Mama's stories, stories that send us soaring back in time to when I was a baby. Out my window. Down my street. Across water. Across continents.

Where do you come from? Where does your family come from? For many children, the answers to these questions can transform a conversation into a journey around the globe.

In her first picture book, author Patrice Gopo illuminates how family stories help shape children, help form their identity, and help connect them with the broader world. Her lyrical language, paired with Jenin Mohammed's richly textured artwork, creates a beautiful, stirring portrait of a child's deep ties to cultures and communities beyond where she lays her head to sleep.

Ultimately, this story speaks a truth that all children need to hear: The places we come from are part of us, even if we can't always be near them. All the Places We Call Home is a quiet triumph that encourages an awakening to our own stories and to the stories of those around us.

REVIEW

In this lovely book, Patrice Gopo shares with readers the experience of a young girl going to sleep.  Before she does, she journeys through memories to some of the places and people who have touched her life, either directly or indirectly.  They visit South Africa where she was born, Zimbabwe where her great-grandmother lives, and to Jamaica where the girl's mother grew up.  Each place carries significance to the little girl because of the people and experiences that occurred in that place.  Not only is this a story about a tender relationship between mother and child, but it's also a powerful reminder that all of us are connected to many places besides just the one in which we currently reside.  Some of those places we have been to personally, but others we've just heard about through stories and the memories of others.  The illustrations are stunning, full of color, and movement.  They brim over with life and love and memories.  This wonderful book has much to recommend it in terms of the beautiful illustrations and the thoughtful themes.

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