Light For All (Margarita Engle)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Light For All, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Raúl Colón, look at the complicated ongoing history of US immigration.

For generations, United States immigrants have followed the beacon of Lady Liberty, coming from their homelands to seek their future here. Some came to join family who had come before, some fled war and poverty, and all were drawn to promise of the American dream. They and their descendants make up so much of our country, our society, our daily lives, even as so many are rejected for their language or the way they look. Many still love and take pride in their homelands, but they love their new homeland too, as they join the “nation of immigrants” and follow the promise of Lady Liberty’s light.

A refreshing mix of honesty and hope. While there are many picture books that talk about the United States’s complicated history with immigration, most like to focus solely on the positives of this national tradition. Engle’s free-form text takes a more balanced approach, both celebrating the promise of the immigrant experience while acknowledging the country’s history of slavery, occupation, land seizure, and prejudice towards immigrants. It’s a delicate line to walk, but Engle does it very well, leaving the reader with both a batter understanding of the struggles immigrants face and a belief that these issues can change for the better. Colòn’s rich and textured illustrations are filled with warm light and a beautifully diverse cast of children. The length is perfect for a storytime, and the content makes this best for elementary-aged readers; JJ especially enjoyed the engaging artwork. A look at a complicated US tradition that will educate and inspire, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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