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A FLICKER OF HOPE by Cynthia Harmony Kirkus Star


A Story of Migration

by Cynthia Harmony ; illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2024
ISBN: 9780593525760
Publisher: Viking

Like the monarch butterfly, Lucía’s father migrates according to the seasons, retracing the steps of his ancestors.

Springtime means a journey north for Papá and for the monarch butterflies that flit around their garden in Michoacán, Mexico. Soothing a tearful Lucía, Papá tells her he’ll return when the weather cools and their “winged ancestors” lead him home. This heartwarming story connects butterfly and human migration and shows how both are natural and part of deep-rooted life patterns. Monarch butterflies follow the same migratory route as previous generations; Lucía’s father, a migrant laborer, journeys north in search of work, following the harvests just as his ancestors did. Though Lucía stays behind, her life also follows the cycles of seasons. While her father is gone, she learns to weave ocoxal-leaf baskets from her mother and grandmother, using the same technique as previous generations. With autumn’s return comes Día de los Muertos, and Lucía welcomes back her father, along with the monarchs. The prose is simple yet elegant; the love between Lucía and her father reverberates deeply through subtle echoes such as the detail of the ocoxal hat Papá wears in the fields. The digitally finished watercolor, colored pencil, and crayon illustrations are richly textured and engrossing, with line- and brushstrokes enhancing the emotion. The characters have brown skin.

A beautiful story about cycles and traditions that shines a light on migration.

(glossary, author’s note, how can we help?) (Picture book. 4-8)