Title: Seaside Dream
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Concepts: immigration, famine, scarcity.
Review: Cora and her extended family have gotten together for a large reunion to celebrate Grandma's birthday. Cora marvels at all the food that her relatives are preparing for the party, and Aunt Celia reminds her that before Grandma immigrated from Cape Verde, she went through some difficult times when people went hungry. Cora also notices all the presents and wonders what she herself will get for Grandma. Later that evening, when she and Grandma go for a beach walk and Grandma describes how hard it was to leave her sister behind in Cape Verde many years ago, Cora comes up with an idea for the perfect gift.
Woven into the text and author's note is an important lesson about how periods of drought and starvation led to considerable out-migration from Cape Verde, which could entail long-term separations from family members who did not want to leave. With its graceful illustrations and a story inspired by the author's family background, this bittersweet book offers readers a new opportunity to think about the bonds of family across time and space.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children