Mi Casa is My Home by Laurenne Sala, pictures by Zara González Hoang. Candlewick Press, 2021. 9781536209433
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Format: Hardcover picture book
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? In this colorful, bilingual celebration of family and home, Lucia gives readers a tour of her house, introduces her “big, loud, beautiful familia,” and describes small daily routines and large festive gatherings with detail and enthusiasm. Each sala in Lucia’s casa has something special about it, even el baño (“It’s where I shave my barba con Abuelo…”) and her brothers’ bedroom.
Vibrant, child-like illustrations fill every page of this joyful book, showing Lucia’s multigenerational extended family (including primos and “los primos de mis primos” – cousins of my cousins!) as they visit, snuggle, play, and share meals. Young readers from Latinx families will be delighted to recognize many of their traditions and see so many familiar Spanish words blended into the narration; but non-Spanish speakers will feel welcome in Lucia’s casa as well. This is a terrific choice to share during National Family Literacy month in November, or as an alternative to more traditional Thanksgiving stories and writing prompts.
Anything you did not like about the book? Many of the Spanish words and phrases are either familiar, or cognates, or can be translated by context (or looking at the illustrations), but a glossary might have been a helpful resource.
To whom would you recommend this book? It would be a wonderful addition to classroom libraries in primary grade dual language programs, a great introduction to Spanish vocabulary for new learners, and a welcome choice for Spanish-speaking students.
Who should buy this book? Preschools, public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.
Date of review: October 29, 2021