Today I am coming with a special review!!! I was contacted by Penguin Random House Canada to feature some of their special spring reads and of course I said yes! There were so many types of books to pick from, but this book really called out to me! The gorgeous cover, the colours and the synopsis were all so intriguing, I had to pick it up!
Islandborn by Junot Díaz, Illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Publisher: Dial Books
March 13, 2018
From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.
Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.
So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”
Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.
Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | McNally Robinson
This story was absolutely lovely. Visually stunning and incredibly heart-warming. The story is full of colour in words as much as it is in pictures.
Following Lola on her journey in discovering The Island was so much fun. Reading about her spirit and enthusiasm brought so much life to the story. Lola was a very curious and with this new project that her teacher has her creating, she’s all about asking questions! She was such a sweet and determined child, her imagination coming to life with the wonderful illustrations by Espinosa.
Every person that Lola asked about The Island, shared a unique and wondrous tale about their homeland. The nostalgia in their expressions and stories was so clear and beautiful, it brought such a heartwarming feeling inside of me. Each story added to the overall story that Lola ended up writing and it created quite a tale! My favourite story would have to be the one that Lola’s abuela told. Not only was the little tidbit she recounted about The Island beautiful, but it was incredibly depicted.
If you didn’t get the message, I absolutely adored the illustrations. They perfectly fit the imaginative and childish perspective of Lola and complimented the story of each person so well. Every page was stunning, but the last page was exploding with so much beauty, I have to claim it as one of my favourites!
This is a perfect read for kids of all backgrounds. It speaks wonderfully to the immigrant experience. I know for me personally, I can relate a lot to Lola’s story. Since I wasn’t born in El Salvador and have only visited a few times, the way I learned about where my family came from was through the stories they shared the images I created in my imagination. This book really speaks to that and I couldn’t be more happy!
Overall, I loved this story. It is everything a picture book needs to entertain and charm all audiences. The beautiful story full of wonder and humour, matched with adorable illustrations will have you longing to visit The Island!
Rating: 5 / 5 stars!
Recommend: Si! Si! Si!
Let me know what you think! What are your favourite picture books? What books take you back to your childhood? What would you draw to depict your homeland?