Bound To Stay Bound

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 My mother's tongues : a weaving of languages
 Author: Menon, Uma

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2024)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [31] p., col. ill., 29 cm

 BTSB No: 637501 ISBN: 9781536222517
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Mothers -- Fiction
 Family life -- Fiction
 Bilingualism -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

Sumi's mother can speak two languages, Malayalam and English. And she can switch between them at the speed of sound: one language when talking to Sumi's grandmother, another when she addresses the cashier. Sometimes with Sumi she speaks a combination of both. Could it be she possesses a superpower?

 Illustrator: Jomepour Bell, Rahele

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (12/15/23)
   Booklist (02/01/24)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/23)
 The Hornbook (00/01/24)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/15/2023 K-Gr 3—A young girl extols the virtues of multilingualism in this exquisite picture book by teenage human rights and social justice activist Menon. While not ignoring the challenges presented to new immigrants navigating outsider status, in Menon's telling of her family's story, she takes a strength-based approach. She describes her mother as having "two tongues." She learned Malalyalam in her native Kerala and English, at age 12, prior to moving to the United States. The mother is mostly depicted as an adult through the eyes of her child, seamlessly transitioning between languages based on context, "hopping" from one to the other, her "two tongues woven together like cloth." The young narrator explains that languages are like muscles, needing practice and exercise and that "a person's accent holds hints about what their first language might be or where they might be from." This framing is refreshing and will serve as validation to readers from multilingual families; it serves to illuminate multilingualism to those experiencing the story from an outsider's perspective. The metaphors of weaving and tapestries are reflected in the impeccable and unique illustrations by Bell. Her mixed-media style incorporates elements of prints and textured fabric, further elevating her normally playful style with gorgeous textiles. VERDICT This story is an essential mirror and window, serving as a reminder that language is a superpower.—Clara Hendricks - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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