Review by Joey Madia
Babushka is Homesick is the sequel to Tell Me a Story, Babushka, which I recently reviewed (and loved!). Babushka, in the first book, tells her granddaughter Karina about how she came to America after escaping a camp in Siberia following the invasion and seizure of grain in Ukraine by the Russians.
In the sequel, Babushka decides to return to Ukraine—for the first time since she was taken from her home by the soldiers—on a trip sponsored by the Ukrainian Church.
While the first book centered solely on Babushka (which means “little grandmother”) and Karina, Babushka is Homesick reveals a house full of energetic grandchildren from a broad array of ethnicities and four of Babushka’s friends, who are all very unique in appearance and wonderfully, whimsically illustrated by Vinicius Melo.
Speaking of Melo’s illustrations, you will want to take your time with them, especially the opening one, which is filled with all kinds of elements that cue not only Ukrainian culture but daily life at Babushka’s. Another illustration, spread over two pages, on which you can spend a lot of time is on pages 18 and 19, when Babushka and friends first set out to explore the city. Celebration of diversity is everywhere in this book. Continue reading