All the Places We Call Home
Author: Patrice Gopo
Illustrator: Jenin Mohammed
Published June 14th, 2022 by Worthy Kids
Summary: Fall in love with this lyrically written and lushly illustrated exploration of identity and home that celebrates all the places and people who make us who we are.
“And where shall we go?” Mama asks as she tucks me in.
“South Africa. Where I was born.”
My answer summons Mama’s stories, stories that send us soaring back in time to when I was a baby. Out my window. Down my street. Across water. Across continents.
Where do you come from? Where does your family come from? For many children, the answers to these questions can transform a conversation into a journey around the globe.
In her first picture book, author Patrice Gopo illuminates how family stories help shape children, help form their identity, and help connect them with the broader world. Her lyrical language, paired with Jenin Mohammed’s richly textured artwork, creates a beautiful, stirring portrait of a child’s deep ties to cultures and communities beyond where she lays her head to sleep.
Ultimately, this story speaks a truth that all children need to hear: The places we come from are part of us, even if we can’t always be near them. All the Places We Call Home is a quiet triumph that encourages an awakening to our own stories and to the stories of those around us.
About the Creators:
Patrice Gopo is the child of Jamaican immigrants and was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She is an award-winning essayist and the author of All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way (a Fall 2018 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection). Her ties to Jamaica and other parts of the world sparked her early desire to travel to the cities and countries she traced on a globe. In time, as she began writing about her experiences, Patrice became interested in how places contribute to the people we become. Ultimately, she hopes her stories celebrate the beauty of living a multifaceted life. Patrice lives with her family in North Carolina—a place she considers another home. All the Places We Call Home is her first picture book.
Winner of the SCBWI 2020 Summer Showcase Award, artist Jenin Mohammed moved into children’s illustration after working to gain entry into storyboarding for television. Just as her dream studio job appeared on the horizon, Jenin realized that her true love for story lay in children’s illustration. Her work uses dynamic shapes and perspective with a layering technique to create a tissue-paper-collage-meets-painterly look. Born and raised in Florida, Jenin grew up in an African American/Caribbean household, providing a personal connection to Patrice’s story.
Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is a beautiful look at family history and culture. It celebrates oral tradition through story and memories, a sense of belonging through place, and a look at one family’s story. The prose is lyrical and calming and the illustrations are vibrant and expressive–it will make a great read aloud for all and a deep dive book for classrooms!
This book would be a great mentor text for writing a family history or visiting the world through memories in another way. Students can connect with their families and friend through the places they call home and create their own pathway around the globe.
- Where are your homes?
- Why does learning about where someone is from help tell their story?
- Even if not through family, how else could you “travel” the globe through memories?
- Where would you like to visit if you could?
- What tradition do you have at bedtime?
- What do you think the author’s purpose of the story was?
- Why does the young girl view America, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica all as her homes?
Read This If You Love: Bedtime stories, Multigenerational stories, Stories about family history
**Thank you to Nicole Banholzer PR for providing copies for review!**
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