Trottier, Maxine. 2011. MIGRANT. Ill. by Isabelle Arsenault. Toronto: Groundwood. ISBN 9780888999757 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-5]
In this simile- and metaphor-filled picture book, young Anna, a Low German-speaking Mennonite migrant from Mexico, imagines herself as various animals. Anna relates her story with that of birds that follow the seasons north and south. She empathizes with the jack rabbit that lives in others’ abandoned holes and she connects with kittens who curl up with their siblings at night. Through these associations with animals, Trottier conveys the realities and hardships of migrant life for children.
Isabelle Arsenault’s pastel illustrations depict Anna as the animals with whom she associates herself. Additionally, Arsenault masterfully integrates the flying geese quilt block into the end pages and throughout the book to further punctuate the constant flight of Anna’s family. Though Trottier’s story focuses on a particular group of migrants, the book will resonate with other migrant children as well as those who must move frequently.
Many of the Low German-speaking Mennonite migrants moved from the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Provinces in Canada to the cities of Durango and Chihuahua in Mexico. Group children and assign groups to trace the route from one of these provinces to one of these cities calculating the miles, indicating the states and major cities through which the route passes, and suggesting attractions to see along the way.
Other books for children about migrant children:
Altman, Linda Jacobs. AMELIA’S ROAD. Ill. by Enrique O. Jacobs. ISBN 188000027X
Atkin, S. Beth. VOICES FROM THE FIELDS: CHILDREN OF MIGRANT FARMWORKERS TELL THEIR STORIES. ISBN 0316056200
Jiménez, Francisco. LA MARIPOSA. ISBN 0618073175
By Maria Cahill