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We Came to America

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  490 ratings  ·  127 reviews
A timely and beautiful look at America's rich history of immigration and diversity, from Faith Ringgold, the Coretta Scott King and Caldecot Honor winning creator of Tar Beach

From the Native Americans who first called this land their home, to the millions of people who have flocked to its shores ever since, America is a country rich in diversity. Some of our ancestors
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  490 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Diana Garcia
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is originally a poem but was created into a children's book. It shows many people from cultural backgrounds coming to America. It started with Native Americans and continued to portray many other cultures that arrived here and it talks about what they brought. It doesn't revolve just around their race but also different religions. The book shows how we're all the same because we all were new here at one point.

I really like what this book stands for. At first I thought that it was too
Lin Lin
"We came to America. Every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world." The poetic statement becomes the refrain section of the book to remind us that a nation of immigrants, voluntary and involuntary, is so blessed with strengths and talents of people from around the world. They brought music, dance, food, clothing, shelter styles, religion from their homeland, and they make the United States a powerful nation as it is today.
Nov 30, 2016 added it
Shelves: children
Simple text and bold illustrations tell the story of how immigrants from all over the world contribute to the strength and beauty of America. I like that this book acknowledges that the Native Americans were here first, as well as the fact that not everyone came here willingly. A valuable and important read that celebrates diversity and opens up opportunities for conversation.
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
I love the message of diversity and unity in this book, however, there some glaring holes as to the representation of some groups primarily those of Muslims and Latinos. The art is just okay, but I do like the constant refrain of "We came to America" and the included poem in the picture book.
Liza Nahas
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Vibrant illustrations accompany a simple poem that celebrates the diverse cultures of America. This would be great for a young classroom/storytime.
Heather Jensen
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I believe we all need to be reminded of this message: "Every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world. In spite of where we came from, or how or why we came, We are all Americans just the same."
CreateEveryday Classroom
With the exception to Native Americans, we are ALL immigrants and some were forced to come against their will
Another "should be" classroom staple
Bayne Marrs
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t-l-307
Excellent book talking about immigration to the USA and how we are all Americans. Especially today, this book would be an excellent choice to read to young children to instill a sense of compassion in them. Grades K-3
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dedicated to all the Children who came to America, this book shows the uniqueness everyone brought to the land and it shows how the only original people from America are Native Americans. That shows that everyone else came into this country one way or another. For that reason there should be no judgement and no racism. This book is a great way to explain to children why we should all treat each other with respect. It shows slaves too, and I'm not sure if that was appropriate, yes it was true ...more
Jacinda Drakulich
Diverse Literature Text Set: All as One

Rationale: This book, We Came to America, shows how different cultures got to America, or in the case of the Native Americans, were already here “before the others came” (p.2). The book depicts peoples’ travels to America, why they left other countries to come here, what happened to them when they got to America and what there cultures added to America. The book highlights differences of all the immigrants, bu ends by saying, "in spite of where we came
Baby Bookworm
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

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,
Dione Basseri
A quick book, suitable for young audiences, about immigration and the forming of the American people. Ringgold's poem and art highlights the varius cultures that make up the American population, and the reasons they moved from other countries. Freedom, opportunities, avoiding oppression and death. It doesn't get very heavy when covering the injustices of the world at large (and, after all, modern America is certainly proving we are bad at avoiding injustice here at home. :/ ), but it doesn't ...more
Ms. Yingling
Copy received from the publisher (Allison Judd)

With a refrain of "We came to America, every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world", Ringgold uses bright backgrounds to frame her folk art illustrations of a variety of immigrants throughout US history. She also includes that fact that "some of us were here already " with illustrations of Native Americans. The text mentions vaguely reasons that people left their own countries, and addresses the contributions of others cultures
Katy Plaza
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
To start off I am going to read the dedication from this book called, We Came to America by Faith Ringgold. Here it is, “We came to America is dedicated to all the children who come to America. May they find peace, freedom, and prosperity in their new home. May we welcome them and inspire them to sustain a love and dedication to peace, freedom, and justice for all.” In American History you have been studying immigration to the United States. What have you discovered about immigrants who
Gayle Swift
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Simple Reminder the American Story Is One of Immigration, of Dreams
A refrain repeats throughout the picture book We Came to America : "We came to America, every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world." Written by Faith Ringgold and illustrated in her signature style, this timely book reminds us that unless we are Native American all of our family lines began elsewhere. We are grafted into the dream of this country. Each of us yearns for the fruits of education, opportunity,
Vibrant colors and a diverse cast of characters are the highlights in this eye-catching picture book that pays tribute to what makes this nation so unique. After all, the United States has been settled by individuals from across the globe. The text is poetic, paying tribute to those who have come before us and even taking care to acknowledge that some of America's citizens were already here while others came unwillingly and at a high personal cost. I especially appreciated how the author ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simply illustrated, this poignant collection of immigrant groups and why they came to America tells the story of our people. From the Native Americans, to the African slaves to Europeans and the Jewish immigrants and the culture they contribute to our lives, this is a great book!.

I loved that none of the immigrant groups are specifically named, but are easily identified by their costumes. The text is repeated as a full poem at the end. A great addition to an elementary library, and a perfect
Niki Marion
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This poem, with its refrain "We came to America,/Every color, race, and religion,/From every country in the world," underscores that being an American has nothing to do with the color of a person's skin or their country of birth. Bold, graphic, folky illustrations demonstrate how "We are ALL Americans,/Just the same."

While this is great for introducing this idea to very young readers, older picturebook enthusiasts would probably enjoy something a little meatier (and likely won't request this
Maria Ambrosini
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book had a great message that should be taught in all of our schools. It discusses how and why some people came to America. It allows the students to be able to see the diversity that lives in America. It is age appropriate because it demonstrates real life scenarios that happened but makes it understandable for elementary school children. It also has beautiful illustrations that keep the children engaged in the book. This book also represents a variety of cultural groups, allowing them to ...more
Lexie Hoffmann
The book we are going to read today is We came to America by Faith Ringgold (shows cover of book). Does anybody know why their ancestors came to America (children respond). There are multiple reasons why people came to America and how, lets see what the ones are in the past are and currently (turns page and starts reading). Finish book and move into lesson on how the culture in America was made and why people still want to come here.

Ringgold, F. (2016). We came to America. New York: Alfred A.
Lisa Mcbroom
I have always been in awe of Faith Ringgold. We came to America really speaks to what is going on today . How we are a nation of immigrants and how we bring an individual talent , nuance, or philosophy to the mix. Her dedication says it all... (children who come to America) "May they find peace, freedom and prosperity in their new home. May we welcome them and inspire them to sustain a love and dedication to peace, freedom and justice for all"
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful - a book about diversity in America that will speak to a young audience (as young as kindergarten). It celebrates our American history, including the injustices we have inflicted upon people, yet celebrates that America is a place for ALL (often a refuge for those fleeing oppression) and that we ALL call ourselves Americans. It is a hopeful book about the beauty in diversity and the truth of America.
Jeff Huebsch
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Large and easy to read, this book is set to a poem about coming to America. So it is easy to remember, and to follow along with, although its on the simple side its a good book to read to young children and has an important message in that everyone no matter where they came from in the end we are all Americans.

I think Children will love this book in part due to its colorful pitchers and simple but rhyming nature that makes it easy to understand and follow along with.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This might have been that much better if the different peoples had been identified in the pictures. Instead, we're left guessing where the people of America, of "every color, race and religion" are from. It doesn't make any sense to stress that important point and yet leave the pictures of said people with any clarification on who's who... I mean, - some - guesses can be made, but most of the pictures are generic enough to make the effort at celebrating diversity a little...difficult.
From last year, a poem beautifully illustrated by Faith Ringgold, each page honoring the diversity of those who have come to America, to “be” Americans. Starting with our Native Americans who were already here and then slaves who came in chains, offerings are many and diverse. It’s a wonderful homage to all the gifts we take for granted that have been contributed to add to America’s uniqueness.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
With the repetition of "We came to America / Every color, race, and religion / From every country in the world," Faith Ringold's bold illustrations and positive message make this a great text for opening a conversation about immigration with young readers.

Recommended for use with elementary school classrooms.
Read  Ribbet
Faith Ringgold adds this celebration of primarily historical immigration to her books. The illustrations are in Ringgold's noticeable style and support the presentation of a lyrical poem. Kirkus suggests: "In today’s complex world, this book offers a humbling reminder about our arduous histories, though it has significant gaps." Note the flaws as if you add this to your collection.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Faith Ringgold will forever be one of my favorite picture book authors. Here, with illustrations that look painted on canvas, she paints an honest and uplifting portrait of the rich diversity in America's heritage. The text is a sweet and simple poem accompanying. Wonderful for reading with all ages.
Chacha Centeno
Great display of diversity through simple verse and illustration, from the Native American's who were here before, displaying all the reasons why immigrants have made America great. A picture book I must own!
This picture book is a beautiful celebration of all immigrants through the history of our country. This looks like a good book to have in the classroom and at home during this election year, as there is a lot of talk about who should be able to come to our country and who shouldn't.
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