When a little boy named Eduardo moves from a village in an unnamed Latin American country to a town in the United States, he struggles to feel at home in his new surroundings.
Eduardo moves to the U.S. in the fall, bringing along his fútbol (soccer ball) and his family’s box of Christmas decorations, with a hand-carved Nativity set that Eduardo cherishes. He loves playing fútbol, but the boys in his new neighborhood play football with a ball of a different shape. He starts school, but he struggles with English lessons, though he does well in math. Eduardo’s parents and aunt and uncle gently encourage him to adjust, and gradually, he makes friends and participates in family celebrations at Halloween and Thanksgiving. On Christmas, Eduardo sets out the family’s Nativity set and announces, “This is home.” Eduardo’s adjustment is perhaps a little too quickly resolved, but the genuine emotions and strong family support are sensitively portrayed. Spanish words and phrases are skillfully woven into the text, with each use defined through the illustrations, context, or by the word or phrase being repeated in English. Farias, an artist from Argentina, provides appealing illustrations with a muted palette matching Eduardo’s mood.
A gentle, lyrical story that can be read year-round as a sensitive exploration of the meaning of home. (Picture book. 4-8)