My Home: Books for Young Children
Every child has a different idea of "home." These books capture young children's feelings about the homes they have, the new homes they move to, and their resilience when a home is hard to come by.
For related titles and activities, see the following booklists:
- Moving In, Moving On, Moving Away (Reading Rockets)
- Coping with Change: Selected Books for Children (Cooperative Children's Book Center)
- Parent Reading Tip Sheets for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers in 13 Languages (Colorín Colorado)
A Chair for My Mother
After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and her grandmother save their money to buy a big comfortable chair. Suffused with warmth and tenderness, A Chair for My Mother celebrates family love and determination. A Caldecott Honor book. Spanish version also available.
A Movie in My Pillow: Poems
Product Description: Young Jorgito lives in San Francisco's Mission District, but he hasn't forgotten his native El Salvador. He recalls the volcanoes, the tasty cornmeal pupusas, and his grandmother's stories. As he changes from timid newcomer to seasoned city dweller, Jorgito's memories and new adventures form a patchwork of dreams — the movie in his pillow — that is perfectly suited to his new bicultural identity.
A Shelter in Our Car
When her father died, Zettie and her mother left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain future in the United States. Zettie's mother can't find a steady job so they are forced to live in their car. But her mother's unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges. Monica Gunning's moving and authentic story about homelessness in an American city and Elaine Pedlar's strong and lively illustrations bring this moving story to life.
This moving story opens with the line, "Amelia Luisa Martinez hated roads." For Amelia, all roads represent the impermanence of moving from one farm labor camp to the next. Amelia longs for a place to call home in the midst of so much change. Her quest for home is a tribute to the resilience and resourcefulness shown by migrant children each day, whether they are arriving at a new school or are working in the fields. Acrylic paintings on canvas offer a lovely texture to the illustrations.
Every day, Angelina tells her mother she wants to go home. Not to their new city home, cold and gray and unfamiliar — but their old island home, sunny and colorful and filled with rainbow-colored fruits and birds. Angelina believes she'll never feel at home in this new place, until her mother finds a wonderful surprise in the newspaper. A beautiful tribute to the traditions of the West Indies, Carnival, and the longing for home that young immigrants will recognize immediately.
Calling the Doves
Product Description: Calling the Doves is poet Juan Felipe Herrera's story of his migrant farmworker childhood. In delightful and lyrical language, he recreates the joy of eating breakfast under the open sky, listening to Mexican songs in the little trailer house his father built, and celebrating with other families at a fiesta in the mountains. He remembers his mother singing songs and reciting poetry, and his father telling stories and calling the doves.
A young man travels from his native Japan to the vast country called America before returning to visit his home with his bride. The exquisite watercolors give the appearance of a family photo album as it relates this autobiographical but universal story of immigration.
Country of origin: Japan
Home at Last
When Ana's family comes to the U.S., she can tell that her mother misses their life and family in Mexico terribly. In addition, she doesn't want to learn English, and she relies on Ana and her husband to translate. Soon, however, Ana's mother realizes that English may be the key to finally feeling at home in her new country. A touching tribute to the children — and their parents — who have come to the U.S. for a better life.
Just Like Home
As a young girl begins to get used to her new life in the U.S., she compares everything around her to life back in her country. Some things — like sharing a big meal with her family — are just like home. Other things, however, like not being able to speak to her classmates easily, are not like home. The simple structure and colorful illustrations of the story provide an interesting model for immigrant or new students to compare one home to another. Bilingual text.
Lily's New Home (Confetti Kids)
Lily and her parents move from their suburban neighborhood to New York City. Lily is used to living in a house on a quiet street. When they arrive at their new apartment, Lily notices the amount of activity all around. Kids play jump rope on one corner. Buses and taxis zoom by. Lily feels like a small ant on such a busy block and worries that she’ll never feel at home. As she and her parents explore their new, multicultural neighborhood, Lily discovers that sometimes change can be a good thing.
Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey
Lost and Found Cat follows an Iraqi family’s escape from Mosul — by car, by foot, and by boat — all with their beloved pet, Kunkush, in tow ... until Kunkush escapes his carrier. The family is heartbroken, but Kunkush fortunately ends up in the hands of Amy, a woman volunteering with refugees in Greece, who grows determined to reunite the cat with his original family. This moving true story will inspire discussions with young readers about what it means to be a refugee, the unexpected consequences of being displaced, and the importance of kindness.
My Colors, My World
Product Description: Little Maya longs to find brilliant, beautiful, inspiring color in her world…but Maya's world, the Mojave Desert, seems to be filled with nothing but sand. With the help of a feathered friend, she searches everywhere to discover color in her world. In the brilliant purple of her mother's flowers, the cool green of a cactus, the hot pink sunset, and the shiny black of Papi's hair, Maya finally finds what she was looking for. Also available as a board book.
My Very Own Room
Product Description: The young Mexican American girl at the center of this charming book loves her family — five younger brothers, her two parents, and several visiting relatives — but in such a crowded house, she can never seem to find a moment alone. Told in both English and Spanish, this boldly illustrated title based on the author's childhood delivers the inspiring story of a California family that pulled together to give a young girl her own corner of the world.
Sometimes, All I Need Is Me
Meet a young girl who loves her cozy home. It smells like cinnamon tea and feels like warm pajamas. But even when she’s away from home, and everything is different, she finds a way to become her own home, where she feels calm. At night, when it’s too dark and her feet are cold, her room can be a little scary. But she creates her own light when she closes her eyes and thinks of the sun. With friendliness and charm, Juliana Perdomo, in her debut as author-illustrator, shows young readers how to find comfort and confidence within.
The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China
With war approaching, Baba (the author's father) builds a sturdy home for his family in Shanghai. The family, their activities, and house unfold in stunning, varied art and lyrical language in an expansive format to reveal a glimpse of an historical time through the lens of one family.
Where is my puppy?
A Vietnamese American boy searches all over the house for his puppy, who is always hiding just out of sight. Spanish version available.
See more great related resources and videos in our Multicultural Literature section!