Book Highlight: Where is My Next Home? 《何處是吾家》
This book just arrived and I’m so in love. It is such a beautiful book!
Written and illustrated by Janas Lau, this is a bittersweet story narrated by an 8-year-old boy named Ming, who lives in one of the poorest parts of Hong Kong.
Although his family lives in a tiny and cramped sub-divided flat (劏房), Ming speaks of it fondly, as his family is very close. Through the eyes of this young boy, we also learn about little subtle things in Hong Kong culture, like how common it is for children to spend most of their time with a helper (工人姐姐) instead of with their parents.
Janas does a masterful job of capturing the details and ambiance with her delicate watercolour illustrations, from the cramped Sham Shui Po home filled with bags made from the “red, white, and blue tarp” (紅白藍膠袋), to the beautiful night sky above farms in the New Territories (新界).
I didn’t realize this when I sourced it, but upon receiving it I found out this is also bilingual! The English text is at the very back of the book instead of inline with the illustrations, so it’s good if you’d like it as a reference without the distraction.
Although it's a heavy topic, the story presents it in a light-hearted way so it's pretty child-friendly. That said, reading it through an adult lens certainly tugs at the heartstrings 🥺
It reminds us of the growing wealth divide, the housing affordability issues, and the messy land development policies of Hong Kong. Would highly recommend 💕
Find the book here: Where is My Next Home? • 何處是吾家