The Trip Back Home

—ALA Book Links “Lasting Connections Book”

—Asian Pacific American Librarians’ Association (APALA) Award for Children’s Literature

Why do we give the gifts we do? I used to give gifts I thought the other person would find useful, until I realized that I usually have no idea of what they really need! So now I give gifts that I myself would like to receive. The best gifts are often free—a home-made gift from the kitchen, or a poem!

When I was four years old, my mother and I went to Korea and spent one month with her family in the small village where she grew up. I had not known my Korean grandparents and aunt before then; I was born in Los Angeles and had never even seen pictures of them. But I wanted to pick out the gifts we gave them, and managed to choose several rather useless gifts, I am told. This book is about the gifts we give and the gifts we receive every day, in our own personal journeys that define “home.”

“Recalling her childhood trip to rural Korea with her mother to visit her grandparents and aunt, Wong measures her words to reflect the simple pleasures of the reunion…This tender story of family love is expressively pictured in bright watercolors…this beautiful, lyrically written picture book has much to say to children, no matter their nationality.”

“A gentle celebration of family bonds…author and illustrator harmonize well, painting the patterns and flavors of rural life.”
-School Library Journal