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Mina Belongs Here

May 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    16th May 2023
  • ISBN 9781782508113
  • Language English
  • Pages 40 pp.
  • Size 10.63" x 9.84"

“It was the night before Mina’s first day at her new kindergarten. She didn’t want to go, but her mama said she would have fun there and people would be kind.

“Mina tossed and turned in bed and dreamed about lots of strange things.”

Mina is worried about starting a new kindergarten in her new country. The classroom is full of laughter, friendly faces, and fun things to do, but the only word Mina can understand is her name.

As she listens to stories and songs, chatter, and instructions, Mina's understanding steadily grows. She tries out sounds that roar in her throat and tickle her tongue until the new words feel like her own. Then one day, Mina realizes that this language now belongs to her, and she belongs to this new world. And she's ready to welcome others in.

Mina Belongs Here is a heartfelt and uplifting story of a migrant’s experience of discovering a sense of belonging through shared words. The expressive and lively illustrations begin in muted monochrome and slowly transform into vibrant colors as Mina's understanding grows.

(Ages 4 to 7 years)

“This tender, lyrical text brings to life moments that many immigrants will recognize.... A visually engaging, rose-colored exploration of the immigrant experience.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“This is such a beautiful story. The illustrations reflect Mina's growing understanding and sense of belonging, as the classroom gradually moves from monochrome to vibrant color. I really enjoyed the recognition of the way children process their own emotions through play.” —JUNO Magazine 

“The illustrations interweave seamlessly with the story, becoming more and more colorful as Mina’s ability to communicate and her sense of belonging grow.” —Five Books 

“The illustrations are simple yet subtly complex, adding additional details to the story.” —School Library Connection 

“Beautifully illustrated in bright, captivating colors, this book has a wonderful positive message through this uplifting story of a migrant experience.” —Kids Bookstagrammer, Instagram

“The illustrations stretch and adapt with the storyline – muted and monochrome when Mina is struggling to find her place in this new environment; bold, bright, enchanting and expressive when her understanding grows. The mesmerizing colors and the beautifully crafted dialogue are a perfect match.” —Sienna's Little Library, Instagram

Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert

Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert is an eminent professor, linguist, and children's author from Germany, and her career has included speech therapy and teaching at numerous universities. She currently works at Clara Hoffbauer University, Germany. Sandra is the honorary head of the reading jury for the KIMI seal, for diversity in children's books. Mina Belongs Here is her first children's picture book, inspired by extensive research into multilingualism in childcare and educational settings. Sandra lives in Potsdam, Germany, with her two daughters and their pets.