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The Resource Islandborn, by Junot Dâiaz ; illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Islandborn, by Junot Dâiaz ; illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Label
Islandborn
Title
Islandborn
Statement of responsibility
by Junot Dâiaz ; illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland ... and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Illustration
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2019
  • Americas Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, 2019.
  • Great Lakes Great Books Award (Michigan), Grades 2-3, 2019.
Review
  • Grades K-3 /* Starred Review */ Lola attends a school in which the majority of students, whose skin tones range from tan to deep brown, are “from somewhere else.” When the teacher instructs her class to draw a picture of what each child’s original country looks like, the young girl is stymied. She was an infant when her family immigrated to the U.S. and has no memories of her birthplace. As Lola and her cousin walk home through their neighborhood, they discover that almost everyone is happy to share their memories of “the Island.” The beaches, the music, the fruits, and the colors come alive for the youngster and create a feeling of pride in her heritage. Along with all the happy memories are remembrances of struggles after a hurricane and a defeated “monster,” which adults may recognize as a former dictator. The exuberant, brightly colored illustrations are filled with a child’s interpretation of the memories and fill the double-page spreads with details to pore over. This important title will be enjoyed by young children and may spark many significant discussions. -- Owen, Maryann (Reviewed 2/15/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 12, p80)
  • /* Starred Review */ K-Gr 3—When Ms. Obi asks her students to draw a picture of the country they are originally from, the children are excited. All except for Lola, "What if you left before you could start remembering?" As Lola talks to some of her neighbors from the Island to draw from their memories, she learns of bats as big as blankets; a love of music and dancing; coconut water and sweet mangoes. And an island where "Even the people are like a rainbow—every shade ever made." With a place so beautiful, Lola wonders, why did people leave? Reluctantly, Mr. Mir, the building superintendent, tells her of a Monster that fell upon their Island and did as he pleased for 30 years. Though never mentioned by name, the country in question is the Dominican Republic. The Monster refers to the dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. Lola learns from her assignment that "Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you." Espinosa's gloriously vibrant mixed-media illustrations portray a thriving community living under the shadow of the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan. As Lola learns more about her Island, the illustrations cleverly incorporate a plethora of tropical plants and color, bringing to life both Lola's neighborhood and La Isla. Lola, a Spanish language edition, is ably translated by Mlawer and publishes simultaneously. VERDICT A sensitive and beautiful story of culture, identity, and belonging—a superb picture book outing for Díaz and one to be shared broadly in a variety of settings.—Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, Princeton, NJ --Lucia Acosta (Reviewed 02/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 2, p57)
  • /* Starred Review */ From its very first sentence, this first picture book from Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) is both beautifully nuanced and instantly comprehensible: “Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else.” Lola is from a place that she calls the Island, which adult readers will recognize as the author’s native Dominican Republic, but she left as a baby. When her teacher asks everyone to draw a picture of “the country you were originally from, your first country,” Lola, who doesn’t remember the Island herself, embarks on a quest through her tight-knit city neighborhood to collect memories. Many recall the Island with fondness: nonstop music, mangoes so sweet “they make you want to cry,” colors of every kind. “Even the people are like a rainbow,” says one. But Lola also hears stories of fear, hardship, and sadness; the super in her building recalls a reign of terror by what he calls “the Monster” (dictator Rafael Trujillo) and the courage it took to resist. As the story moves between past and present, the Island and “the North,” and the microworlds of classroom, streets, and home, the sweep of experience and emotion becomes unmistakably novelistic. Reminiscence, reality, and Lola’s imagination similarly merge in Espinosa’s effervescent, mural-like drawings (which eventually become the work Lola presents to her class): bats soar through the air on blanket wings, and a barbershop customer tears up while clutching a translucent mango. With his tenacious, curious heroine and a voice that’s chatty, passionate, wise, and loving, Díaz entices readers to think about a fundamental human question: what does it mean to belong? Lola realizes it means both being cherished by those around her and taking ownership of their collective memory. “Even if I’d never set foot on the Island,” she tells the class, “it doesn’t matter: The Island is me.” Ages 5–8. Agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Inc. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed 12/18/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 52, p)
  • A young girl's homework assignment unravels the history and beauty of her homeland. Lola and her classmates are assigned to draw pictures of their respective origin countries. With excitement, the others begin sharing what they will draw: pyramids, a long canal, a mongoose. Lola, concerned, doesn't remember what life was like on the Island, and so she recruits her whole neighborhood. There is Leticia, her cousin; Mrs. Bernard, who sells the crispy empanadas; Leticia's brother Jhonathan, a barber; her mother; her abuela; and their gruff building superintendent. With every description, Lola learns something new: about the Island's large bats, mangoes, colorful people, music and dancing everywhere, the beaches and sea life, and devastating hurricanes. Espinosa's fine, vibrant illustrations dress the story in colorful cacophony and play with texture (hair especially) as Lola conjures images of her homeland. While the story does not identify the Island by name, readers familiar with Díaz's repertoire will instantly identify it as the Dominican Republic, a conclusion that's supported when the super recalls the Monster (Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo), and sharp-eyed readers should look at the magnets on Lola's refrigerator. Lola, Teresa Mlawer's translation, is just as poignant as the original. Together, Díaz and Espinosa present an imaginative, purposeful narrative about identity and belonging. (Picture book. 5-8) (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2018)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10624839
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1968-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Dâiaz, Junot
Dewey number
[E]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.1.D4988
LC item number
Isl 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 0
  • 3
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Espinosa, Leo
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Picture books
  • Islands
  • Islands
  • Dominican Americans
  • Schools
  • Immigrants
  • Dominican Republic
  • Africa
Target audience
primary
Label
Islandborn, by Junot Dâiaz ; illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
29 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780735229860
Lccn
2017006468
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)993419527
Label
Islandborn, by Junot Dâiaz ; illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
29 cm
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780735229860
Lccn
2017006468
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)993419527

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793

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