Hello lovely friends! Courtesy of author Terry Catasús Jennings and publisher Holiday House, I have the pleasure of talking about The Little House of Hope, written by Terry Catasús Jennings and illustrated by Raúl Colón.
Written by Terry Catasús Jennings and illustrated by Raúl Colón, The Little House of Hope is an affecting and beautifully illustrated picture book. A semi-biographical story based on the author’s own family experiences of moving to the United States from Cuba in the early 1950s, The Little House of Hope takes readers on a poignant journey. In the opening pages, readers watch as Mami, Papi, and their children Esperanza and Monolo, stand on the lawn in front of a house. This place, which “didn’t cost cost too much money”, is going to become their home. And readers learn that even though “it was small [and] smelled of old, wet socks [with] tattered furniture from a church basement”, it just mattered that “they were safe”, all together, and “happy in la casita”. As the story moves on, we see the family members begin to learn English, the parents and children work very hard and continue to fix up and work on their house- all the while welcoming in family members and friends who need a warm place to stay. The little house becomes a haven of sorts- “a safe place, in a new land”- not only, of course, in how it helps Esperanza, Manolo, Mami and Papi, but also for multiple adults and children alike. Ultimately a story brimming with the belief in love and the importance of generosity, The Little House of Hope is a sensitive story about immigration and the power of (and trust in) community. Catasús Jennings’s appealingly crisp-yet-delicate and impactful storytelling works wonderfully here to capture readers’ attention from start to finish- a loving, perfect match with Pura Belpré award-winning llustrator Raúl Colón‘s distinctively vivid, retro-feeling watercolour and pencil artwork. For readers interested in exploring stories for younger readers around the topic of immigration, or more generally about moving to a new place and/or finding community, The Little House of Hope is an excellent pick. If you have a chance, please also make sure to read A Note from the Author, prior to the story’s beginning! Extras: The Little House of House was also simultaneously published in Spanish as La Casita de Esperanza. An Educator’s Guide for The Little House of Hope can be found via the Holiday House website.
I received a copy of The Little House of Hope courtesy of Terry Catasus Jennings and Holiday House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own. Title has been published and is currently available.