“This beacon of a picture book, which illustrates the story of the author's own journey to the United States with her two-month-old son, emphatically asserts that immigrants belong in this country, no matter the political rhetoric that claims the opposite. Morales verbally encapsulates the range of emotions that arise on such a journey in text that is concise and intelligible to young readers. Visually, the intricately handcrafted mixed media elements overlaid on atmospheric backgrounds lend a sense of beauty to even the most trying and disconsolate moments of the story. Another award-worthy tour-de-force from a storyteller in her prime.”
— Niki Marion, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
An instant New York Times bestseller, with seven starred reviews!
A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018
Named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, NPR, and the Boston Globe!
In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed.
She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams...and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous new picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.
Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.
The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi's own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book.
A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available.
A Junior Library Guild selection!
About the Author
Born in Xalapa, Mexico, where she currently resides, Yuyi Morales lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she still maintains close relations with booksellers and librarians. Professional storyteller, dancer, choreographer, puppeteer, and artist, she has won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award for Illustration five times, for Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (2003), Los Gatos Black on Halloween (2006), Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book (2008), Niño Wrestles the World (2013), and Viva Frida (2014), also a Caldecott Honor Book.
★ "In warm, sparkling prose that moves easily from English to Spanish and back, Caldecott Honor artist Morales (Viva Frida) traces the journey that she and her small son took in 1994, when they immigrated from Mexico to the United States. . . . Many books about immigration describe the process of making new friends and fitting in; this one describes what it’s like to become a creative being in two languages, and to learn to love in both. 'We are two languages./ We are lucha./ We are resilience./ We are hope.'"—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ "An immigrant's tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love. This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. . . . Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as 'soñadores of the world.' A resplendent masterpiece."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "Recounts the challenges and wonders of living in a new country. . . .The narrative text is poetic and full of emotion. . . . the mixed-media illustrations are breathtaking, created through painting, drawing, photography, and embroidery. The joyous imagination and intricacy of each illustration will make readers of all ages explore them further. . . . "—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "The magical art marries the succinct and powerful narrative in a resplendent celebration of literacy, language, and the transformative power of the picture book form . . . This excellent memoir encapsulates the fears, hopes, and dreams that come along with immigrating to a new place . . . A timely and much-needed selection."—School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ "Every page of Dreamers vibrates with energy, depicting the emotions, the turmoil, the stress and the joy that come with creating a new life."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
★ "The gently hopeful text offers its best optimism when rooted in Morales’ own experience. The immersive magical reality of the art is the real glory here; the mixed-media illustrations, including acrylic paint, drawing, and bits of collage, are full-bleed spreads that depict the library as a milieu every bit as startling and novel to the speaker as the U.S. itself."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review
"Morales tells, through illustrations that seem to dance and sing, the story of crossing borders on a bridge of language with her young son. Together they discover picture books and public libraries, and the gifts they brought with them — open hearts, art, poetry and stories — blossom."—The Washington Post, Best Books of 2018