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MOMMY'S HOMETOWN by Hope Lim Kirkus Star


by Hope Lim ; illustrated by Jaime Kim

Pub Date: April 12th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1332-4
Publisher: Candlewick

A child visits their mother’s hometown and is surprised to find it now differs from her recollections.

Mommy regales the young narrator with bedtime stories about a playful, carefree childhood. Against the backdrop of a verdant countryside and towering mountains, a lush river provided ample opportunity for Mommy and her friends to catch fish, splash, and treasure hunt. Idyllic and joyful, these vivid memories have given the child high expectations for an upcoming visit. A train car window offers the first glimpse of a vastly different landscape. Bustling streets and gleaming skyscrapers crowd the horizon, and the mountains struggle to be seen. The striking contrast between reality and anticipation both awes and disappoints the child. Yet while many things have changed, the river still flows through the city center. Hand in hand, Mommy and child wade in, re-creating the cherished moments of Mommy’s youth. The pair make their own memories in this special place, reinforcing that it is familial bonds and unconditional love that define home rather than physical surroundings. A tranquil warmth radiates from the illustrations, providing an underlying feeling of safety throughout the journey. Mommy and child are Korean, with black hair and pale skin. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An uplifting, intergenerational story.

(Picture book. 3-8)