Jeri Watts (text), Hyewon Yum (illus), A Piece of Home, Candlewick Press/Walker Australia, 1 June 2016, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780763669713
Narrated by the young son, the story follows a family who emigrate from Korea to West Virginia where everything seems so different, even the sky at night. The father speaks English but the rest of the family struggle until the grandmother goes to school with the little sister and the patient teachers and determined family finally begin to make progress with their English and in adapting to new ways. The underlying theme of suddenly moving from being “ordinary” to “extraordinary”, to use the boy’s words, would be a feeling familiar to many migrants. The book has been written for the US market where there are many more Koreans than in Australia, but the family’s experience could nevertheless be a useful book for classroom discussion of the issues faced by migrants. The full colour illustrations are lively and expressive of the family’s changing emotions. Ages 4-8.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Douglas