Friday, August 2, 2013

Booklist review

This Is Our House.

Yum, Hyewon (Author) , Yum, Hyewon (Illustrator)

Aug 2013. 40 p. Farrar/Frances Foster, hardcover, $16.99. (9780374374877).

Yum’s latest resembles a photo album and follows a little girl offering up a historical tour of the house she

shares with her parents, grandparents, and cat. She starts at the beginning, when her mother’s parents

“arrived from far away with just two suitcases in hand.” On one side of the spread (here and throughout

the book) is a watercolor framed like a photograph; the other side reveals a more complete view from the

same time period. The story continues, inside and in front of the two-story attached home, through her

mother’s childhood, departure for college, and return with “the boyfriend who would be my father.” Yum

depicts the girl’s grandparents as warm and welcoming, even as nervous new parents, and the girl’s

parents convey the same loving concern for their child. Some of the “framed” images pop up again on

walls in later pages, suggesting how the young narrator learned the history she’s relaying. Even before the

baby sibling is introduced on the last spread, this is a sweet tribute to continuity and togetherness.

— Abby Nolan

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