I'm an Immigrant Too
I'm an Immigrant Too
Publisher's Hardcover16.44
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Annotation: Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal how all of our lives are enriched by the vibrant cultural diversity immigrants bring to their new communities.
Catalog Number: #168355
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-534-43602-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-534-43602-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018016828
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The unabashed message of this book, as the title announces, is to remind young readers that Australia is a place of immigrant settlers. Beloved Australian children's author Fox (Nellie Belle, 2015) uses cute rhyming couplets to pack eons of history into jaunty verses, one for each kind of Australian family represented in the story. Readers learn that being Australian means knowing where one's ancestors came from: Ireland, Italy, Vietnam, Greece, Lebanon, Somalia, and China are some of the countries mentioned. The second couplet hints at the reasons for immigration mine, war, love d will perhaps plant the seeds in young readers' minds that people make homes in different places for a variety of reasons, all of which are valid. A particularly poignant verse about a refugee child waiting to be allowed into the country might elicit questions about the process of immigration and belonging. All the verses end on a happy note, and crisp, cheerful illustrations add to the book's celebratory and welcoming tone: "We open doors to strangers. / Yes, everyone's a friend."
Horn Book
In singsongy four-line rhyming stanzas, a diverse group of children explain why their families came to Australia. All speak enthusiastically, but the book's super-upbeat text can be simplistic: "My country was Afghanistan-- / we fled when I was small. / Our boat capsized, but we were saved-- / now we're Australians all." There is no explanatory material. The bright, naive-style illustrations show different Australian landscapes.
Publishers Weekly
This celebration of immigration, titled I-m an Australian in its country of origin, offers American readers a fresh perspective on both Australia, the home country of Fox (Time for Bed), and on issues of citizenship and diversity that are dominating the news. -I-m Australian! How about you?- asks a child in the first spread. The answers start with Australian-born parents (-My mum was born in Sydney,/ my dad in Ballarat-) but soon introduce readers to kids whose parents left countries around the world to find refuge, hope, and a sense of belonging in their adopted home. Crisp, full-bleed spreads by Ghosh (Ollie and the Wind) seem to focus on the present, pointedly juxtaposing the characters- dramatic backstories. As father and son wait at the bus stop, the narration explains, -Syria was where I lived,/ but then we had to flee./ Our family-s now in Brisbane,/ and we-re as safe as safe can be.- Referring to war and refugees- desperate flights in sing-song, rhyming lines may feel jarring. Still, there is also something deeply heartening about a book that asserts, -We open doors to strangers,- and ends with such a hopeful, unifying image: -Together now, we live in peace,/ beneath the Southern star.- Ages up to 8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 This picture book begins with a young boy and girl posing the question; "I'm Australian! How about you?" What follows is a rhyming and colorful spread of various children explaining their origins and family roots. "My dad grew up in Darwin,/my mum in Humpty Doo./Our mob's been here forever/now we share the place with you." Each child's tale is accompanied by a lovely graphic-style illustration by Ghosh, depicting the various landscapes of Australia or simply children playing in a pool or waiting by a bus stop. Fox touches on current immigrants, such as those from Syria and Afghanistan, and the violence they have escaped in an age-appropriate manner. The conclusion of the book is less chipper with a young girl holding a bird cage, standing next to a large, concrete wall with the text; "Sadly, I'm a refugee/I'm not Australian yet./But if your country lets me in,/I'd love to be a vet." There is also a map at the beginning of the story showing where everyone "hailed from" and the end of the book displays another map showing where they now live in Australia. VERDICT While immigration is certainly a major news item today, the cities and regions in Australia may be too far removed for the majority of American children to relate to. An optional purchase. Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, MI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (9/1/18)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: 570L

From beloved Australian author Mem Fox comes a timely picture book about how all of our lives are enriched by the vibrant cultural diversity immigrants bring to their new communities.

What journeys we have travelled,
from countries near and far!
Together now, we live in peace,
beneath the Southern Star.

Inspired by the plight of immigrants around the world, Mem Fox was moved to write this lyrical and rhyming exploration of the myriad ways immigrants have enriched her home country of Australia. Young readers everywhere will see themselves—and their friends and neighbors—in this powerful and moving picture book.

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