When This World Was Newby D. H. Figueredo, Enrique O. Sanchez
An uplifting story about a young boy overcoming his fears and embracing his new home in America.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn his first picture book, Figueredo offers a boy's first-person account of his Spanish-speaking family's arrival in the United States from "an island on an ocean that was warm and far away." After taking two airplanes to reach a large northern city, Danilito and his parents are greeted by Uncle Berto, who drives them to his home. Though the child feels anxious about going to a school where no one speaks his language, a blizzard outside his window fills him with wonder (he describes the sight as "a magic I had never seen before"). The story takes a winding path, but Figueredo succeeds in conveying his young narrator's credible emotions and close rapport with his parents and uncle. Sanchez's (Abuela's Weave) acrylic paintings achieve such softness that they appear to be rendered in pastels. Even when set in the intimidating city, the illustrations in gentle tones of reds and blues create the feeling that the boy's transition to a new life and culture will be a smooth one. Ages 3-10. (May) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Mary QuattlebaumTaking two planes, Danilito and his parents leave behind their warm Spanish-speaking island home and journey to the United States. Danilito worries-the ice is slippery, everyone speaks English, and his mother seems to have forgotten how to smile. But an early-morning walk with Papa in the falling snow allows Danilito to make his own mark on this beautiful land, perhaps foreshadowing adult contributions later in his life. D.H. Figueredo's text keeps well to a young child's point of view, with some lovely poetic touches. Danilito describes the snow as floating "white rose petals" and the lights of New York City as being like the "stars of a Caribbean night." Enrique Sanchez's bright acrylics are in keeping with the story's hopeful tone.
School Library JournalK-Gr 3-When his family leaves their warm Caribbean island to come to the United States, Danilito is apprehensive. Everything is new-the cold weather, the heavy clothing, the language. But the first morning in his new home brings the wondrous discovery of snow, "millions of white rose petals floating downwards," a magic that turns parked cars into polar bears and silences all sounds. Before Uncle Berto comes to drive Danilito to his new school and Pap to a factory job, father and son make snowballs and footprints together. Although the boy is still frightened, it's "not as much." The language is simple and the imagery is appropriate to the viewpoint of a young child. A few phrases of Spanish are used and translated. The rounded forms and soft colors in the acrylic paintings emphasize the gentle affection of this close-knit family. Mam 's smile, Pap 's anxious pleasure, and Danilito's joy in the snowfall are beautifully portrayed in warm tones. Danilito may worry about the unknown, but he accepts and embraces his new world so that even his greatest fear, falling on ice, becomes one more marvel, as readers see him on the last page ice skating while his smiling parents watch.-Marian Drabkin, Richmond Public Library, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsFigueredo puts a happy face on the difficult transition of a young boy's emigration to America from his Caribbean island home. Danilito flies with his mother and father to an airport where strangers rush about. The narrator's uncle takes them to a house, described in short, bland sentences. "We went inside. There was a living room and a kitchen and two bedrooms. All the rooms had furniture." A few Spanish phrases are tossed in. The next morning, Danilito faces winter clothing and the prospect of school, daunting prospects until he and his father witness the snowfall. With that, an adjustment that realistically take months appears to take place in a few hours, with the snow facilitating the transformation. The clipped sentences tell rather than show, leaving readers emotionally disengaged from Danilito's plight; fuzzy-edged drawings, full of rounded shapes and soft colors, match the oversimplified, rosy picture of a newcomer's life. (Picture book. 4-8)
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >