Have you ever experienced a feeling of loss of a home or community? Finding Home by Esteli Meza tackles the feeling of loss and the embrace of community when a rabbit named Conejo starts a long journey. On this journey, Conejo attempts to find his missing home that was swept away by a huge gust of wind. Here is my review of the children’s picture book Finding Home.
Scholastic books provided a copy to review, however thoughts and opinions are my own.
ABOUT FINDING HOME
A powerful social-emotional picture book about friendship and courage in the face of hardship.
When Conejo’s house blows away in a storm, his friends and neighbors take turns helping him look for it. Though they do not find his house, they each send him on his way with good cheer and small gifts. Conejo is grateful for their support, but still finds himself sitting with sadness for some time. When the rain clears, Conejo finds the courage to rebuild. He fills his new home with the memories, love, and support he collected from his friends along the way.
Review of Finding Home
A gust of wind sets off a sequence of events in which a rabbit named Conjeo tries to find his missing home but also finds comfort in his community too! Conejo’s home blows away after a strong storm hits his neighborhood. He journeys throughout his neighborhood to find his missing home, taking refuge in his friends homes as they attempt to cheer him up.
One of the key themes in this book is the importance of community. Conejo leans on his community to help him find his missing home but also to take his mind off his troubles, whether it be over a cup of tea or a fun song. This is an important part of the story, Conejo is sad over his loss and is allowed to feel and sit in that sadness. Once he feels that sadness he is then able to fill a new home with gifts from his friends and start his life over.
Finding Home has a beautiful folk art inspired illustrations with muted colors and simple lines that that show Conejo’s community. Little details like the decor in some of the friends homes and the trees along Conejo’s journey create beautiful scenes in the book.
As a Puerto Rican, the reference to Hurricane Maria hits home for me. My kids and I prepped boxes to send after Hurricane Maria hit to friends and family who had literally lost everything. This book sparks good conversations on how people lost their homes and the emotional trauma that could create. It also allows for the discussion of how important kindness can be to someone who feels immense sadness or loss.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ESTELI MEZA
Estelí Meza is an illustrator living in Mexico City. She grew up surrounded by books, and her love for illustration began when she attended la Feria del Libro Infantile with her father. At an early age, she was fascinated with artwork found in the pages of books. She studied Design and Visual Communications with a specialization in Illustration at UNAM. Estelí especially enjoys stories that celebrate women and cultures around the world. These days Estelí spends her days drawing in her Mexico City neighborhood — she is always happiest with her notebook, pencil, chocolate pastry and cafecito.