Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 7
In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border.
They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.
As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the US border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant’s perspective.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
About the authors
JAIRO BUITRAGO is a children's book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books, including Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews), Two White Rabbits (three starred reviews), Walk with Me (three starred reviews, Kirkus Prize shortlist), Lion and Mouse (two starred reviews) and most recently, Cave Paintings. They won the "A la Orilla del Viento" contest for the Spanish edition of Walk with Me, which was also named to IBBY's Honor List. Their books have also appeared on "Los mejores libros del año" (Venezuela's Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Jairo has also won the Hispanoamericano Castillo prize for children's literature and the Antonio García Cubas Award. He lives in Mexico City.
Rafael Yockteng has illustrated many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta (USBBY Outstanding International Books) and Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews), Two White Rabbits (three starred reviews), Walk with Me (three starred reviews, Kirkus Prize shortlist) and On the Other Side of the Garden (three starred reviews) by Jairo Buitrago. Together, Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng have won the “A la Orilla del Viento” contest, and their books have been included on IBBY’s Honor List, “Los mejores libros del año” (Venezuela’s Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Rafael lives in Bogotá.
- Commended, Notable Books for a Global Society
- Commended, A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year
- Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Book
- Commended, School Library Journal Best Picture Books of the Year
- Commended, NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, Recommended Book
- Commended, Kirkus Best Picture Books of the Year
This beautiful, understated story is extremely important right now; it will resonate with many and open the eyes of children unfamiliar with the experience of immigration.
Booklist, STARRED REVIEW