“How many of you know what it feels like to move to a new place?” I asked this group of 2nd graders as I visited their classroom. Most students raised their hands fast!
“What words come to your mind when you think of moving to a new place?”
“Let keep those words in mind as we meet the characters in this new book titled A New Home by Tania de Regil.
And so I began reading this book and there was not a sound in the room as the children got to hear how a little boy in the story describes the things he loves about the city he currently lives in: New York City. On the other side of the page, a girl that lives in Mexico City shares the same sentiments about her city. But throughout the book, they also shared their worries. The things they are afraid they won’t find in their new city. But the cleverness in the illustrations reveal to the reader that although two places can be completely different, you can still find the things you love doing but in a new context, or a new format. Same but different. Different but same.
As I read the story, these amazing young readers said,
“It’s ok. You’ll find new friends.”
“You can do those same things in your new home!”
“You are going to be alright.”
I was touched by their level of empathy they revealed. Their previous experiences helped them understand that changes or moves don’t have to be scary.
The illustrations in this story tell the rest of the story. And they can’t be missed as the authors suprises us in the end.
What a wonderful story to read at the beginning of the school year as we learn our students’ journey.