cover image Mommy’s Hometown

Mommy’s Hometown

Hope Lim, illus. by Jaime Kim. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1332-4

Lim poignantly explores the tension between new and old in this setting-oriented tribute to family bonds. Using evocative first-person prose, the book opens with a child recounting stories about Mommy’s rural hometown (“The mountains nearby stood like giants”), but when the pair, who read as East Asian, travel for a visit, the landscape—now full of glimmering high-rises and stores covered with Korean signage—appears different than expected, perplexing the child: “Is this really the same place where Mommy grew up?” A playful wade in the river allows the two to re-create some of Mommy’s childhood experiences, and a welcome from Grandma further reassures that “Some things change, and some things stay the same.” Moving smoothly between rural and urban environments, Kim’s carefully illuminated digital graphics play dexterously with shadow, adding drama to the duo’s journey. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)