Going Home

( 1 )


Christmas is coming and Carlos and his family are going home-driving south across the border to Mexico. But Mexico doesn't seem like home to Carlos, even though he and his sisters were born there. Can home be a place you don't really remember?

At first, La Perla doesn't seem very different from the other villages they pass through. But then Carlos is swept into the festivities by Grandfather, Aunt Ana, and the whole village. Finally, Carlos begins to understand Mama and Papa's ...

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Christmas is coming and Carlos and his family are going home-driving south across the border to Mexico. But Mexico doesn't seem like home to Carlos, even though he and his sisters were born there. Can home be a place you don't really remember?

At first, La Perla doesn't seem very different from the other villages they pass through. But then Carlos is swept into the festivities by Grandfather, Aunt Ana, and the whole village. Finally, Carlos begins to understand Mama and Papa's love for the place they left behind, and realizes that home can be anywhere, because it stays in the hearts of the people who love you.

Eve Bunting and David Diaz-the Caldecott Medal-winning team behind Smoky Night- collaborated once again to create a dazzling picture book that glows with holiday joy and the spirit of Mexico.

Author Biography:

Eve Bunting is the winner of the Golden Kite Award and the three-time recipient of the Best Work of Fiction Award of the Southern CaliforniaCouncil on Literature for Children and Young People. She has written more than one hundred books for young readers, including is Anybody There ?;Our Sixth-Grade Sugar Babies, a Best Book of 1990 (School Library Journal); Sharing Susan; and Coffin on a Case, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, given by the Mystery Writers of America.

Ms. Bunting was born in Ireland and now lives in southern California.

Although a Mexican family comes to the United States to work as farm laborers so that their children will have opportunities, the parents still consider Mexico their home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Fiesta-bright" art ignites this "joyous" tale of a Mexican American family's Christmastime trip to the parents' home in Mexico, said PW in a starred review. Ages 4-8. Sept.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The award-winning team of Bunting and Diaz blend their talents to tell the story of Carlos, a boy whose family takes time from migrant work in the US to visit their home in Mexico. Carlos and his older sister are confused as to why his parents left home, chose such a difficult life, and want to return to a place doesn't seem so special. After a long night of warm conversation with their Mexican family, Carlos and his sister watch their parents dancing barefoot in the street of the small village. Their sore shoulders and bad knees are temporarily forgotten in the magic mood of the night and Carlos, watching them, understands their sacrifice for the promise of opportunity. Bunting's characters lead children thorough the emotional levels of the situation, while Diaz creates a celebration of illustration accenting the joys of family warmth found in a small Mexican village brightened by Christmas festivities.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Join Carlos and his Mexican-American family as they leave their southern California home to celebrate the Christmas holidays in his parents' home village in Mexico. Discover the magic along with Carlos and his sister about the "specialness" of family, no matter where they may be. Diaz not only designed the bold artwork, but the print for the text. It appears that each full page is a brightly photographed hodge-podge of Christmas ornaments/decorations, with a drawn illustration (which accompanies the text) of the families' journey overlaid on the photograph.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3Mama and Papa are ecstatic to be going home to Mexico for the Christmas holidays, but Carlos and his sisters, who have been raised in a labor camp on a farm in the U.S., have difficulty understanding their parents' longing for this unfamiliar place. After the old station wagon crosses the border, however, excitement builds, and when they finally reach La Perla, a noisy and joyous family reunion takes place. After all the guests have left, Mama and Papa steal outside and dance barefoot in the street. Their amazed children then begin to understand the sacrifices their parents have made for them. Bunting conveys her message softly, leaving the major role to Diaz. His distinctive style is well suited to the setting and the mood of the book. End papers feature closeup photographs of brilliant "artesanias Mexicanas," decorative objects, figures, and other popular arts found in the market places. This "art popular" then forms the background on which the paintings and type are placed. Diaz uses color, shape, and line to evoke the anticipation of the trip and the joy of arrival. Even the layout effectively mirrors the emotional energy and tension of the story. A lovely journey home for Mama and Papa and their children, and for readers, a journey to understanding.Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780780781
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Trophy Picture Bks.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eve Bunting was born in Ireland and came to California with her husband and three children. She is one of the most acclaimed and versatile children's book authors, with more than two hundred novels and picture books to her credit. Among her honors are many state awards, the Kerlan Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Regina Medal, the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America awards, and a PEN International Special Achievement award for her contribution to children's literature. In 2002, Ms. Bunting was chosen to be Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York.

David Diaz has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including smoky night by Eve Bunting, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal; The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, which received a Newbery Honor; and Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, a Pura Belpré Honor Award winner. Mr. Diaz lives in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2001

    Eve Bunting and David Diaz do it again!

    Eve Bunting takes her readers on journey with a Mexican family going home for Christmas. The text she uses is elegantly written. Through the feelings expressed by Carlos and his family you get a real sense of the Mexican culture and the importance of family. David Diaz's illustrations lead you into the journey with Carlos and his family. With the use of collaged background and inset illustrations the pages come alive. The text of Bunting and the illustrations of Diaz give you the sense of being there. This is a book that a child of any age would enjoy.

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