Dreamers Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
by Yuyi Morales - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this beautiful picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to see the world and heart of an immigrant and storyteller.

Through beautiful images and text, we walk alongside a mother with her infant son coming to America from Mexico. We gain a sense of the hope, uncertainty, and confusion of a Latinx immigrant coming to the U.S. with its unfamiliar words and places. This is the author's true story of coming to California as a new bride and mother. She finds home and her sense of purpose and place in the libraries of her community. Anyone who loves books will recognize the joy and connection found in picture books and libraries. 

Before Reading

Ask: This is a story about the power of books. What is the name of a picture book you love or read many times over the years? What do you like about it?

Show: Many of the images in this book are symbolic, connected to related ideas. What do you think a butterfly (pictured on the cover) is a symbol of? How do you think that fits the story? As we read, notice the details in the images and think about how they connect to the big ideas. 

Connect: There are lots of connections in this story: connection between mother and son, connection to home; connection to books, and connection to libraries. What are some of your most important connections? Why are those connections important to you?

During Reading

Ask: What are some of the words the author uses to describe the library when she finds it. Why do you think she uses those words?

Show: Look at the pictures of the mother and son at the library. What are some of the symbols? Why do you think there is an image of a needle and thread? 

Connect: When so much was unfamiliar to the mama and child, they became hikers and explorers, caminantes. They explored and made mistakes. How can curiosity help you when you don't know something? What good can come from mistakes? 

After Reading

Ask: How did books become home? How did books teach them to read, speak, write, and make their voices heard? What have books done for you?

Show: Look at all the details on the pages with the picture of the boy holding a rocket. Talk about the symbols and hope for the future.

Connect: Why do you think the book is titled Dreamers? What do you think makes it a good title?


  1. Almost every community has a library. Not all libraries are alike. Visit your library. Draw a picture or describe your library in writing. 
  2. If you love books, share your love by making a Little Free Library
  3. Find out what countries are represented in your community. Read stories about immigrants or indigenous people who have settled in your area. If there are new immigrants in your community, welcome them by inviting them to your library. Listen to the many stories of people who travel to find new homes. 
  4. Use paints to color an image of a place you know well. Use symbols in your art to show what the place means to you.