I had the pleasure to read Perlita Comes to America recently and I have to say, although I loved it, it also tugged at my heart strings and left me feeling really sad. I know and understand that children immigrate to the United States every single day; it's a harsh reality. I never read a story that depicts an immigrant experience so well through a child's voice. Because the stories of children who make life-changing journeys are so important, I am thrilled that this new series of bilingual picture books will tell a gentle, honest story of children's feelings through this dramatic lifestyle change.
Perlita is a school-aged girl who has to leave her home in Argentina with her mother so they can join her father in the United States. Author Silvia Perez Arvelo takes the reader along when Perlita has to say goodbye to family and friends in her native country. Although she is thrilled to see her father again and is excited to board the big, shiny airplane, she understands that the transition to her new home in America will not be easy.
Faced with a loneliness and a language barrier in her new city, Perlita and her mother make a new friend who volunteers to teach them English and bake new favorite American treats. They quickly understand what they must do to feel at home in the big city.
A perfect book for children who can identify with Perlita, I personally cannot wait to share this book with my boys. I believe it will help them become aware that hundreds of thousands of children come to this country for a better life. I hope they will also be able to understand the sacrifice many families have to endure and that not all of these types of journeys are easy. I hope that if Silvia Perez Arvejo continues to write about other children's experiences she will find a way to make different stories as kid-friendly as Perlita's. Our kids are smart, need to know the reality of complicated situations such as immigration, but we need gentle voices like Silvia Perez Arvejo's to help parents like us deliver these important stories.
Disclosure: I was given a free download of Perlita Comes America in Spanish and in English so I could review the book. The website does have a free English and Spanish audio version that I know moms would love for a read-along. Please click here to purchase your book.
Betty Galvan, is writing "for smart and stylish moms" over