When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does?
This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and friends splashing together in the river. Mommy’s stories have let the boy visit her homeland in his thoughts and dreams, and now he’s old enough to travel with her to see it for himself. But when mother and son arrive, the town is not as he imagined. Skyscrapers block the mountains, and crowds hurry past. The boy feels like an outsider—until they visit the river where his mother used to play, and he sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain. Sensitively pitched to a child’s-eye view, this vivid story honors the immigrant experience and the timeless bond between parent and child, past and present.
About the Author
Hope Lim is the author of I Am a Bird,illustrated by Hyewon Yum, and My Tree, illustrated by Il Sung Na. Born and raised in South Korea, Hope Lim now lives with her family in San Francisco.
Jaime Kim was born and raised in Korea before moving to the United States at the age of eighteen. She is the author-illustrator of Ready for the Spotlight! and the illustrator of many books for young readers, including La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo. Jaime Kim lives in North Carolina.
A child visits their mother’s hometown and is surprised to find it now differs from her recollections. . . 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. . . An uplifting, intergenerational story. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Lim poignantly explores the tension between new and old in this setting-oriented tribute to family bonds. . . . Moving smoothly between rural and urban environments, Kim’s carefully illuminated digital graphics play dexterously with shadow, adding drama to the duo’s journey. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This picture book is bittersweet, highlighting a touching bond between mother and son as they reminisce over the past and embrace the present. . . Jaime Kim’s digital illustrations highlight the stark differences between the new and the old. . . will likely resonate with viewers sharing a similar background. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Readers are treated to sumptuous full-page spreads devoid of text, where they can linger and imagine, like the child does, a carefree life in a beautiful place. . . . This gentle, layered story will resonate with imaginative readers as it shares a message of optimism and beauty.
This picture book lends itself nicely to compare and contrast, then and now, as well as talking about what happens to the landscape when concrete and buildings take over. . . beautiful. —School Library Journal
As peaceful and gentle as that glowing sky, ‘Mommy’s Hometown’ is a gorgeous ode to home, family, the things that change and the things that stay the same. —The Virginian Pilot