The paper discusses a book for children with the title My Diary From Here To There/ Mi Diario De Aqui Hasta Alla. It is written in two languages, English and Spanish, by an award-winning author Amada Irma Perez. The book was printed in the year 2002 by the Children’s Book Press. A copy of the book that was used for this paper was borrowed from neighbors and their daughter who is nine years old. The plot of the story has captured attention of the young girl as the author tells the story from the point of view of a little girl Amanda whose family has to move from Mexico to the United States of America in order to find a better life. Amanda keeps a diary that helps her to record her feelings about moving to New York. It is interesting because Amada Irma Perez tells her own story of immigration in the work of literature.
The book is attractive due to a number of beautiful pictures on the pages. It was illustrated by a talented painter Maya Christina Gonzalez. I like the illustrations very much because Gonzalez uses an approach of storytelling that is based on stressing human emotions in different forms. Bright colors and attention to small details express fears and hopes of Amanda and her family. One can see feelings and emotions on the faces of people, for example, sadness, worry, joy, or love. The pictures are creative and vivid and reflect written words. They make it easy for other children to believe in the story, because everyone may recognize himself, for example, sitting and writing or reading something with a flashlight in the bed.
My two favorite illustrated pages from the book show two of the most important moments in Amanda’s life that were described in the story. The first one is a picture of Amanda and her father who says that a girl should not be scared of changes because she is stronger than she thinks. The meaning of these words is expressed by carefully depicted tenderness in the father’s look and infinite trust in Amanda’s eyes. The second picture shows a moment when a grandmother gives the girl a new journal to write about life in New York. In this picture, the focus is not placed on the book, but on two close people who look into each other’s eyes with love. This sends a message that things are not important and one should value human relationships more than anything else.
The art helps to share a though about the importance of friendship. The best friend Michi is very precious to Amanda’s heart. That is why she even picked hear-shaped stones to remind her of Michi. The readers can see the picture of girls saying good-byes and the stones near them as a symbol of their friendship. One of the themes in the book is an idea of a contrast established by the fear of leaving home and anticipation of opportunities in a new place of living. This theme is supported by an illustration in which Amanda and her family talk about going to America. Amanda is painted as a scared girl but her brothers are happy about the change. The picture and words together illustrate how differently even close people may perceive life events.
Without any doubt, I would recommend the book My Diary From Here To There/ Mi Diario De Aqui Hasta Alla to young students. I believe it may be very useful if it is read aloud or for children’s independent reading. The author herself has written the story in two languages. This is a good example of how convenient it is to know more than one language. This fact inspires children to get to know more. Apart from a language skill, the book is able to teach other things such as the value of family, or how to stay strong in various life situations. The potential of the book may also be achieved when children notice pictures. Some ideas can be written, some thoughts can be painted, but together they present an incredible work.
In the process of working on the paper I could not help to stop thinking about the whole concept of Mexican migration. It has a long history; however, this history is often told from the point of view of politicians from the tribune or common American citizens. People do not really want to hear about immigration from someone who has come from the other side of the border. This time, due to the book, the story is heard. There are a lot of reasons for this and all of them define the book under consideration as a good one. Firstly, it is a well-told story for children. Secondly, it has beautiful pictures which show the meaning of words. Thirdly, a little girl is a witness of an event and this is why it may appeal to children and even grown-ups, no matter whether they read in English or Spanish.