Written and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Publisher’s Summary:
An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story

Primary Source Pairing:
Creator Yuyi Morales tells her story of coming to the United States in 1994 and how books had a powerful impact on her and her son as they adjusted to their new life here. These books are depicted throughout the illustrations. Readers will enjoy seeing familiar book covers and be interested to read the titles they see but haven’t yet read. Use the “Books That Inspire Me (and Still Do)” list at the end of the text to share these books with students. Yuyi Morales writes about her artistic inspiration and process in the back matter. She used ink from a pen that once belonged to author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), photographs of places and things important to her, embroidery, and more. For this primary source pairing, use the book itself as a rich visual literacy exploration experience. Read the note from Yuyi Morales before reading the book, and then invite students to study the illustrations and look for these added textures mentioned in her notes. As the learning environment allows, project the book or share your screen. The closer students can view these immaculate illustrations, the better.

As an extension activity, invite students to create a digital bookshelf of books that have inspired them as readers. Use this Google Slides template as a starting point. As a next step, students can link the books on their shelves to the library catalog, a YouTube book trailer, or the author’s website. Show students how to publish the slides to the web for easy sharing. As your learning environment allows, print these and hang in the school for student to student readers’ advisory or post to a library website for digital access and viewing.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • What do you see that is interesting in the illustrations?
  • What textures or components of the illustrations do you see that were mentioned in Yuyi Morales’ notes?
  • How do the book covers in the illustrations contribute to the story?
  • What books do you notice that look familiar?
  • What books do you notice that you haven’t yet read but are interested in reading?
  • How did books impact Yuyi Morales’ life?
  • How have books impacted your life?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Books That Have Inspired Me template, created by JMarek: here
* Note the Google Slide has Master Slide template components. To edit the template for your needs, edit the Master Slide template.
Bookshelf used in template: https://pixy.org/src/351/thumbs350/3511260.jpg

Additional Resource:
Audio Name Pronunciation for Yuyi Morales: https://www.teachingbooks.net/pronounce.cgi?aid=2481