Do you love to read? TFK Kid Reporters do too! Lauryn Chew and Orlie Weitzman shared their reviews of two of the summer’s most interesting books. This is the second in a five-part series. Check back soon for more from TFK’s Summer Book Review roundup.
Title: Mommy's Hometown
Author: Hope Lim
Illustrator: Jaime Kim
Reviewed by: TFK Kid Reporter Lauryn Chew
What is the book about? A young boy loves to hear his mom’s magical stories about her hometown. But when they get there, it’s not as she described it. Everything has changed. Still, the boy experiences the happiness of his mom’s childhood memories.
How do the pictures add to the story? Facial expressions show the joy that family connections can bring. They help readers see that environments are just one part of a family’s history and culture. By reliving his mother’s memories, the boy helps hold on to his family’s past.
Who would like this book? Kids of all ages would appreciate this story, especially readers in a diverse country like the United States. This boy’s adventure shows how important it is for kids to spend time with family and remember their history.
How would you rate this book? Why? I would give Mommy’s Hometown an 8. It reminds us that it’s important to learn from the past, especially our family’s past. This can make us stronger and give us hope. Like the young boy, everyone should be proud of where they come from. It’s the first step in overcoming real-world challenges, together.
Title: Growing an Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son
Author and illustrator: John Parra
Reviewed by: TFK Kid Reporter Orlie Weitzman
What is the book about? It’s a big day! For the first time, Juanito works with his papi as a landscaper. As Juanito works, he draws plants and birds. He even helps Papi design a plan for a garden. When he sees it come to life, he realizes the power of his artwork.
How do the pictures add to the story? The illustrations are stylized. They have large blocks of color. These mimic folk art as a reference to the author’s Mexican heritage. They give a sense of the landscapes and scenery of Southern California, with pastel pinks, blues, and greens that re-create a sun-washed world.
Who would like this book? Kids who like drawing, nature, and gardening will like this moving tale. Younger children will be pulled in by the vibrant illustrations. Older children will engage with the narrative about family, work, and community. Spanish speakers will find some familiar words woven into the story.
How would you rate this book? Why? I’d give it a solid 9. The story celebrates different generations working together. It celebrates perseverance and the contributions people make to a community. This book will provoke conversations among readers of all ages.