Open Doors

Reviewing I’m an Immigrant Too!

In this lively and reflective children’s picture book, Australian author Mem Fox celebrates the diversity of cultures in her native land. In rhyming verse, she begins by sharing the stories of children born in her country. These kids welcome children from other nations: “My dad grew up in Darwin \ my mum in Humpty Doo. \ Our mob’s been here forever \ now we share the place with you.” 

Fox hints at reasons why individuals immigrated: famine, hardship, war and more. She includes verses about people from numerous countries: Ireland, Italy, Greece, England, Lebanon, Vietnam, Syria, China, Somalia and Afghanistan. Settled in their new country, children and their families feel safe, happy and accepted.

Fox’s upbeat narrative includes a somber note. A child, pictured by a wall topped with wire, says: “Sadly, I’m a refugee \ I’m not Australian yet. \ But if your country lets me in, \ I’d love to be a vet.”

I’m an Immigrant Too! ends on a hopeful note: “We open doors to strangers.\ Yes, everyone’s a friend.\ Australia Fair is ours to share,\ where broken hearts can mend.”

Timely and meaningful, Fox’s book deals in an age-sensitive way with a current issue and question, one on the minds of politicians and ordinary people, and one which also affects children: Will we make space for the stranger or will we close our doors? 

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