Mina ­Belongs Here

­Floris. May 2023. 40p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782508113.
PreS-Gr 2–A beautifully simple story about a young immigrant girl’s experience going to a new school in a new country and speaking a new language. Text and illustration convey the confusion Mina feels before she understands the language everyone in class is speaking. The illustrations are expressive and use a slow introduction of color to mimic how Mina slowly adapts to her new surroundings and transitions from feelings of anxiety and loneliness to feelings of acceptance and happiness. As Mina grows more comfortable and makes new friends, more color is introduced, and the color scheme shifts from muted colors of blues and grays to a vibrant color scheme. All readers will empathize with Mina’s anxiety about joining a new school and making friends. Mina’s origin country and her new country are purposely left ambiguous so that this story could be applicable to many different immigrant experiences.
VERDICT The use of lyrical and uplifting text combined with gorgeous artwork masterfully tells a story of a young child struggling in a new environment and eventually gaining self-confidence and friendship of others. Recommended for any collection.

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