Antonia: A Journey to a New Home

Dipacho. MineditionUS/Russo, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-66265-045-1
A note to readers opens Colombian author-illustrator Dipacho’s U.S. debut, explaining that corporations in Colombia are buying up land and displacing “many farmers, and... Black and Indigenous people.” In this mostly wordless story, highlighted by watercolor washes and layered paint, several families, two brown-skinned, one light yellow, leave their homes in search of new places to live; their journey unspools from left to right. The small cartoonlike figures, with bright eyes and distinctive features, carry their belongings in plastic shopping bags and tied-up bundles. One child, who has brown skin and a textured tower of black hair, brings their beloved orange dog, Antonia, who crosses the river in a ferryboat with the families. But during a passage through thick jungle growth, the child and their mother emerge without the canine in tow. They call: “¡Antonia!” In anguish, the child calls again, the name stretching across a spread. The other children console the owner, and one makes a gesture as compassionate as it is unexpected. But the families must go on in this bittersweet picture book, which conveys with power one child’s loss from forced migration. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/05/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Children's
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