cover image The Little House of Hope

The Little House of Hope

Terry Catasús Jennings, illus. by Raúl Colón. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4716-9

A casita offers “a safe place, in a new land” in this warmly communal picture book that centers a dwelling’s residents over time. When Esperanza and her family move from Cuba to the United States, they look for an affordable house to call home and find la casita, where they’re together, safe, and happy, even if the small residence “smelled like old, wet socks” and had “rickety, tattered furniture/ from a church basement.” As they settle into a rhythm—Papi painting houses and stocking shelves while Mami works at a laundromat and diner, and everyone pitches in domestically—the family remembers home through food: “cafe con leche with buttered/ toasts” and “beans/ and sofrito/ and plantains.” Soon, they open their home to Mami’s sister, Conchita, and her baby, who “had no other place to go,” and then to a family from Mexico, who had “ridden buses and trucks/ and walked for miles/ in search of a better life.” Colón’s signature art, which portrays individuals of varying skin tones, and gently revelatory prose by Catasús Jennings create a feeling of refuge in this gently bustling, expansive story about building home in a new place. Ages 4–8. (June)