In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly’s passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it. Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It’s a story about family. And it’s a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless. The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi’s own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book. A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available. Ages 4–8.
About The Author
Born in Mexico and raised among giant grandmothers, mossy house walls, and rampaging feral gardens, Yuyi Morales fostered a strong bond with the magical stories that ran in her family. Since immigrating to the USA in 1994, she has drawn from her family’s legacy and her heritage to create some of the most celebrated Latino works for children’s books. Yuyi Morales is the 2004 winner of the Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration for her book Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book as well as the 2008 winner for Los Gatos Black on Halloween (written by Marissa Montes), given to a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
Read Aloud Tips
- Discuss dreams and the different kind of dreams. What kind of dreams do the students have?
- Go through the photos and have the students describe what they are seeing. Ask them to guess what might happen next.
- In small groups, have the students talk about what it means to accomplish dreams and the sacrifices one may need to make.
“An immigrant’s tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love. . . . Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as ‘soñadores of the world.’ A resplendent masterpiece.” – Kirkus Reviews