A Taste of Home

Roaring Brook. Aug. 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250834171.
PreS-Gr 1–The Lower East Side of New York City is the setting for this story of a boy who goes out of his apartment one day with the mandate from his mother to “bring back a taste of home.” His mother’s home is Israel. But while the boy is clear that for him, “home” is his neighborhood, he knows that for many of his neighbors, home is somewhere far away. The text expands and encompasses his neighbors’ homes, whose flavors have been captured in the shops, bodegas, and Asian restaurants in the area. A culminating picnic with the diverse population of his community features children and adults with roots that span the globe, and flavors that cover an entire picnic blanket. Illustrations capture the immediate location with ties to distant locales effectively connecting near and far. Notes at the end extend the story for children not familiar with the Lower East Side, but this book will be relatable where cultures and communities continue to mix, no matter where readers live.
VERDICT This is a highly effective tool for encouraging children to look into the rich diversity in their communities and realize the many ways immigration adds to the American experience for all who live here.

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