Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Touching Portrait of Homesickness and Longing

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood by Rosemary Wells with Secundino Fernandez, Illus. Peter Ferguson (Candlewick, 2010, 72pp.)

Writer Rosemary Wells and Cuban-born architect Secundino Fernandez have teamed up to chronicle the events of his childhood. The young “Dino” depicted in these pages is a remarkable little boy. Even from an early age, he is in love with Havana’s buildings, taking note of the colors and architectural quirks that make these places special. When he and his family move from Cuba twice during his childhood, first to Spain to care for a sick relative, and lastly to the US to flee Castro’s dictatorship, it is not without a sense of mourning. What makes the story so poignant is its emphasis on homesickness and longing, reminding the reader of things they may take for granted. Ferguson’s vibrant oil paintings only add to this rich experience. Recommended for Ages 9-12.

Click on cover for image source.

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