I was able to receive the book Sometimes written by Hugo Ibarra and John Seidlitz to review and to offer to my readers for a giveaway. All opinions are my own.
I thought this story was unique in that it shared a story about a topic that is in the news quite often . . . immigration. The story personalizes the difficulty that two small children, Andrés and his sister, Clara, go through as they immigrate to the United States from Mexico. After young children hear this story, no longer is immigration just a word they hear, but a topic they can understand. Even though I am far from Texas, where the two children in the story immigrate, we have many people all around us that are immigrants. They all have stories that they can share about how they came to America.
The book can also help children understand how other children who come into their class that just entered into the United States are probably very nervous and need a friend. This country was founded by immigrants! That is our heritage. I understand that the topic can be very controversial and that there are many issues that can be debated, yet that is not what this book is about. This book emphasizes the importance of adult encouragement for children in a time of transition that happens when children immigrate to a different country and allows conversation about how children should treat other immigrant children that they may meet.
Not only does it make the topic of immigration real and understandable to young children as the book is targeted to children ages 4-8, but it encourages ideals such as:
the importance of holding on to hope
how even young children can be courageous
how parents and teachers can help strengthen children who are going through times of uncertainty
a strong familial bond
These ideals can be applied to many different circumstances children face, not just immigration.
The illustrations are wonderful, and the writing is simple and easy to understand:
The other reviewers on Amazon had a couple concerns that I also had about the book. The book talks about the children’s father. It shares how he came to the United States to earn money, but then he disappears. No more is said about him. Children will ask questions about that part of the book, but there is no answer. Also the mother stays in Mexico for a long time after the aunt is somehow able to get passports and bring the children to the United States. No explanation is given in the book either for why the mother cannot come along with them and why it takes so long for her to finally get to America. So there are unanswered questions that may be delicate in nature, but the underlying theme of hope, having courage, and how dreams can sometimes come true was very touching.
Sometimes . . . is written by men who are very qualified to write on this topic:
John Seidlitz is the founder and CEO of Seidlitz Education, a company that provides training and supportto educators and leaders of English Language Learner programs across the state of Texas andbeyond. He has authored several books, including: 7 Steps to Developing a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom™ and Sheltered Instruction Plus: A Guide for Texas Teachers of English Learners. Sometimes is his first children’s book.
Hugo Ibarra immigrated to the United States when he was 25. After studying immigrant children forhis thesis, he received a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from The University of Texasat Tyler and began his career as a Bilingual Education Teacher in Longview, Texas. Ibarra is currentlythe an elementary school principal in Bryan, Texas. Sometimes is his first children’s book.
Sometimes . . . is publised by Canter Press, and can be purchased HERE.
If you would like to win a copy of this book, you can enter the giveaway below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open only to United States residents. Creative K Kids is not responsible for the fulfillment of this prize.