We Came To America (Faith Ringgold)

Hello friends, and happy Independence Day! We wanted to read a special book for the occasion, so we chose We Came To America by Faith Ringgold, an illustrated poem in picture book form that celebrates the diversity that founded our nation and our culture.

“We came to America, every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world,” the rhyming text of We Came To America repeats, accompanying a folk-style portrait of a person, group or family from a different corner of the Earth. Some came in chains, some came escaping persecution, some came hoping for opportunity, even a very few have always been here. Most important, they all came together to form the United States, a country built from voyagers, migrants and dreamers who came here and gave of themselves to create the land we all call home.

Lovely book with a fantastic message. I love that the diversity of America, and Americans, is explored with tact but still honest (for instance, it’s important that slavery is not shied away from as one of ways people came to be in the US). But ultimately, it’s a celebration of the great multitudes of cultures, religions, and communities that built the nation and continue to make up it’s very fabric. The folk art is colorful and vibrant, and JJ enjoyed it a lot. The length was great, and the message is as timeless as it is timely: no matter our origins or appearances, we are ALL Americans. Baby Bookworm approved!

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