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Mommy's Hometown

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When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does? This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and frien When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does? This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and friends splashing together in the river. Mommy’s stories have let the boy visit her homeland in his thoughts and dreams, and now he’s old enough to travel with her to see it for himself. But when mother and son arrive, the town is not as he imagined. Skyscrapers block the mountains, and crowds hurry past. The boy feels like an outsider—until they visit the river where his mother used to play, and he sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain. Sensitively pitched to a child’s-eye view, this vivid story honors the immigrant experience and the timeless bond between parent and child, past and present.


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When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does? This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and frien When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does? This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and friends splashing together in the river. Mommy’s stories have let the boy visit her homeland in his thoughts and dreams, and now he’s old enough to travel with her to see it for himself. But when mother and son arrive, the town is not as he imagined. Skyscrapers block the mountains, and crowds hurry past. The boy feels like an outsider—until they visit the river where his mother used to play, and he sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain. Sensitively pitched to a child’s-eye view, this vivid story honors the immigrant experience and the timeless bond between parent and child, past and present.

30 review for Mommy's Hometown

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bee (BacchusVines)

    Have you ever went back home to visit and seen that many things have changed, but some things stayed the same? That's what Mommy's Hometown is about. I love how the author didn't shy from how small villages are being changed as the decades come and go, but sometimes you can find a little piece of your childhood in the modern world. I enjoyed Hope Lim's storytelling of a mother sharing what her childhood was like to their child. Of how no matter how much things have changed, this is still the vil Have you ever went back home to visit and seen that many things have changed, but some things stayed the same? That's what Mommy's Hometown is about. I love how the author didn't shy from how small villages are being changed as the decades come and go, but sometimes you can find a little piece of your childhood in the modern world. I enjoyed Hope Lim's storytelling of a mother sharing what her childhood was like to their child. Of how no matter how much things have changed, this is still the village their mother grew up in. Jaime Kim's illustrations are on point with bring the nostalgia of the mother's childhood and translating it to the child experiencing some of the same things. I look forward to more work by these two.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Finison

    When a young boy and his mother travel to her hometown in Korea, the place takes him by surprise. Where she described a village along a river, surrounded by mountains, now there are concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers that block the view. However, as the boy and his mother play in the river, as she did as a child, he feels a connection with her and her memories, and discovers that sometimes, even though time brings change, the important things are still present, such as a sense of community and f When a young boy and his mother travel to her hometown in Korea, the place takes him by surprise. Where she described a village along a river, surrounded by mountains, now there are concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers that block the view. However, as the boy and his mother play in the river, as she did as a child, he feels a connection with her and her memories, and discovers that sometimes, even though time brings change, the important things are still present, such as a sense of community and family. Much like the river that weaves through the village-turned-city, the lyrical lines of this story weave across the pages, connecting the beginning to a satisfying ending. The deep colors of Jaime Kim's illustrations enhance the vibrancy of the story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily~

    Incredibly sweet, simple story about the bond of a mother and son going to visit the mom's hometown in Korea. Sharing of childhood memories including a river which mom creates childhood memories for her son. Beautiful illustrations and made me feel like I was in the town by the river watching the sky turn from the last burst of colors fading to darkness. Much love and a caring, sweet bond between parent and child. A halmoni is included in the story. Would recommend this to anyone who likes to re Incredibly sweet, simple story about the bond of a mother and son going to visit the mom's hometown in Korea. Sharing of childhood memories including a river which mom creates childhood memories for her son. Beautiful illustrations and made me feel like I was in the town by the river watching the sky turn from the last burst of colors fading to darkness. Much love and a caring, sweet bond between parent and child. A halmoni is included in the story. Would recommend this to anyone who likes to read to their child. This would a good book to be a conversation starter for a parent to share their own childhood stories.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roben

    A young boy grows up listening to his mother's fond stories about her hometown. Finally they get to visit! A lot of things have changed - but other things have stayed the same. And first perceptions may not always be accurate. This is an interesting look at how we perceive places from the stories we have heard. How reality may not always match up with memories. But you can still find beauty and the heart of a community if you open your eyes. A young boy grows up listening to his mother's fond stories about her hometown. Finally they get to visit! A lot of things have changed - but other things have stayed the same. And first perceptions may not always be accurate. This is an interesting look at how we perceive places from the stories we have heard. How reality may not always match up with memories. But you can still find beauty and the heart of a community if you open your eyes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Rose

    Beautifully narrated and illustrated story about sharing a precious memory. The hometown that Mom has described and the stories that she has told create indelible impressions on her son. When they go to visit together to share this experience...things have changed. The town resembles a city in parts. The boy tries to contain his disappointment until they find places to celebrate and recreate his mother's cherished memories together. Beautifully narrated and illustrated story about sharing a precious memory. The hometown that Mom has described and the stories that she has told create indelible impressions on her son. When they go to visit together to share this experience...things have changed. The town resembles a city in parts. The boy tries to contain his disappointment until they find places to celebrate and recreate his mother's cherished memories together.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    The young boy has listened to his mother's stories of her hometown and the adventures there as she grew up. Finally, they have the opportunity to fly to her home country. To his surprise, the town has grown into a city and none of the landmarks are still there. He is disappointed until they go to the river and wade like his mom did when she was young. Lovely story to open discussion about generations and memories. The young boy has listened to his mother's stories of her hometown and the adventures there as she grew up. Finally, they have the opportunity to fly to her home country. To his surprise, the town has grown into a city and none of the landmarks are still there. He is disappointed until they go to the river and wade like his mom did when she was young. Lovely story to open discussion about generations and memories.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbra

    A young boy listens to all the stories his mom tells him of growing up. It was a village where she caught fish, and splashed in the river. It was close to the mountains and filled with friends. But when they arrive in her hometown, things have changed. A bustling city replaces it, but her memories will never change. A cute story of family, change and the bond of parents and kids.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joana Pastro

    What a lovely picture book! It takes us on a journey between past and present Korea, childhood memories, and the importance of family connections. The sweet lyrical text is perfectly complemented by Jaime Kim’s beautiful strokes and earthy color palette. Hope Lim's books always give me that satisfying awwww feeling at the end. I highly recommend it! What a lovely picture book! It takes us on a journey between past and present Korea, childhood memories, and the importance of family connections. The sweet lyrical text is perfectly complemented by Jaime Kim’s beautiful strokes and earthy color palette. Hope Lim's books always give me that satisfying awwww feeling at the end. I highly recommend it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    “At night, Mommy would tell me about where she grew up.” When mother and son return to Mommy’s hometown, things are very different from when she was growing up. “Everything is different from her stories.” But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their time together as they explore her hometown. “I imagine Mommy playing as a girl under the red sky. And I am there, too.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Tells of growing up bring back wonderful memories in the way we saw things. A mother shares those stories with her son and takes him home to see her place. Its not what he imaged, but he begins to see it through the eyes of his mother and embraces it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    This is a sweet "sleepy" story. A boy hears a lot about his mother's hometown but when they go to visit, it has changed a lot. He tries to see it as his mother did as a child. Sweet but not my favorite. This is a sweet "sleepy" story. A boy hears a lot about his mother's hometown but when they go to visit, it has changed a lot. He tries to see it as his mother did as a child. Sweet but not my favorite.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leova Manbhat

    Sweet story of a boy's first visit to his mother's hometown, a place he has visited so many times before through his mother's stories. He finds that while the place is very different from his mother's recollections, some things remain the same. Sweet story of a boy's first visit to his mother's hometown, a place he has visited so many times before through his mother's stories. He finds that while the place is very different from his mother's recollections, some things remain the same.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    A fun picture book showing the gap that can exist between a parent's memories of a place and current reality - and the confusion of a young child about these changes. The book is universal even while the story has a uniquely Korean setting. A fun picture book showing the gap that can exist between a parent's memories of a place and current reality - and the confusion of a young child about these changes. The book is universal even while the story has a uniquely Korean setting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    3.5 stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melina

    A sweet story that talks about how the world is ever-changing. Some things will always stay the same, though, and that is a nice thing to share with students.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bethe

    Enchanted by his mother’s stories of growing up in a small rural Korean town, the boy is dismayed to find it big and modern now. But the river is still inviting and home is always where grandma is.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Louise Tripp

    Strong writing, really lovely illustrations of the landscapes. I enjoyed it and feel it’s a sweet story, even though I feel it could have packed more of a punch.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    A look at how some things change, while others stay the same. Text was the best part; I wondered at depiction of the Grandma .

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diane Chaniewski

    Beautiful illustrations

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    Going back to Mommy's hometown and experiencing the love she did as a child. Going back to Mommy's hometown and experiencing the love she did as a child.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Gaum

    I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shaila Shenai

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Lukert

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ms Threlkeld

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

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