Thursday, April 8, 2021

Review: Babushka is Homesick by Carola Schmidt

Today's read is the last in my row of books, which have found their influence from Russia and its surrounding areas—this time, Ukraine. This one is another picture book, and it raises awareness for those living in a foreign country. When I read the blurb on this one, I was immediately curious, since it might hit home for me and my family. But either way, it definitely is a timely read in so far that it opens up understanding for others and includes diversity. 

 Let's take a peek, shall we?

by Carola Schmidt
Illustrated by Vinicius Milo
Picture Book
28 pages
ages 4 to 8

Babushka hadn't been in her homeland since she was a child. She went to the church with a suitcase, and the whole way, Babushka thought about how she would feel in Ukraine after so many years. She sang, and then she prayed. Amen. But Babushka was thinking of her trip instead of the Lord's grace. After a long time pondering what to expect-if she would feel a sense of belonging-Babushka arrived in her homeland. Babushka had a lot of fun, but she felt like something was missing. She was homesick. "Babushka is Homesick" is a story about memories, family, and the true meaning of the word "home."

"Babushka is Homesick" is the second children's book in the Babushka Series. Everyone has their own stories, history, and the desire to belong. The first book, "Tell me a story, Babushka," is a best-selling new release in Children's Multicultural Literature on Amazon USA (Aug 2019), in which kids and adults will enjoy fun adventures and identify their own stories.

This folktale is ideal for ages 4-11, and perfect for teachers.

You can purchase it here

or find it on....    Goodreads   /   Amazon


This is a partner book to Tell Me a Story, Babushka, and while it is not necessary to read that one before diving into this one, I would recommend it, since it allows the reader to get to know Babushka before this next story begins.

Babushka hasn't been back to her home in Ukraine for years and is excited when she finally has the chance to return. While she enjoys being there and seeing everything again, she soon notices that she's missing something. And it could be that 'home' might have a different meaning than what is usually expected.

This tale explores the idea of homesickness, especially among those who have moved far away from their own countries. The author does a nice job at explaining Babushka's situation in a way listeners can understand and sympathize with. And it's easy to feel happy as Babushka's excitement grows. The listener also gets a tiny glimpse at Babushka's earlier home and setting (learning a bit about Ukraine along the way). 

The text and subject matter is a bit heavy for the youngest readers but those up the first grade will have no trouble understanding what's happening. I do recommend reading the first book, since this one doesn't take the time for the reader to get to know Babushka first, but the main messages will still be understandable even if only this book is read. It definitely makes a nice addition for teachers or guardians wanting listeners to learn more about the Ukraine.

And here she is...

Carola Schmidt is a pediatric oncology pharmacist, scientific writer and children’s book writer.

Author of several books in pediatric oncology published by Springer Nature. Her scientific books are present in lists such as BookAuthority’s Best Pharmacy Books of All Time, Best New Pharmacy Books and Best New Pharmacy eBooks, and Springer Highlights 2020. Author of several kids’ books about cancer, such as Bald is Beautiful: A letter for a fabulous girl, Cancer Daily Life, Chubby’s Tale: The true story of a teddy bear who beat cancer (listed by BookAuthority as one of the “81 Best Leukemia Books of All Time”.) Belonging is a subject that is present in her writing, and the two books in the Babushka Series are her first books that are not about cancer. 

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