Mina Belongs Here

Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert; Illustrated by Lars Baus

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • This uplifting story of a migrant child's journey to belonging is insightfully told by language education expert Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert
  • The expressive and lively illustrations by Lars Baus begin in muted monochrome, slowly transforming to vibrant colour as Mina becomes more comfortable in her new world
  • Mina's experience of learning a new language and adapting to her environment will build empathy in young readers, and will be familiar to many young children facing new and daunting situations themselves
  • This high-quality picture book features eye-catching endpapers, a book jacket and is printed on uncoated, sustainably sourced paper

When Mina starts kindergarten in her new country the only word she understands is her name. As her understanding steadily grows, Mina realises this new language now belongs to her. A vibrant and heartfelt exploration of a migrant experience.

250 x 270 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 7 years
40 pages
Publication date:
15 Sep 2022


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 realises 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 experience and discovering a sense of belonging through shared words. The expressive and lively illustrations begin in muted monochrome, slowly transforming to vibrant colour as Mina's understanding grows.


'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 appealing picture book reflects the experiences of many immigrant children throughout the world.'
-- Booklist

'Lyrical and uplifting text combined with gorgeous artwork masterfully tells a story of a young child struggling in a new environment and eventually gaining self-confidence and friendship of others.'
-- School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

'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 colour. 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 colourful 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

'A heartfelt and uplifting story of a migrant experience and discovering a sense of belonging through shared words.'
-- The Concord Bookshop, Picture Book Pick of the Week

'A gentle picture book of adaptation and change. Libraries and young readers seeking stories about integration and acceptance will find Mina Belongs Here both entertaining and thought-provoking.'
-- Midwest Book Review

'Beautifully illustrated in bright, captivating colours, this book has a wonderful positive message through this uplifting story of a migrant experience.’
-- KidsBookstagrammer, 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 mesmerising colours and the beautifully crafted dialogue are a perfect match.'
-- Sienna's Little Library, Instagram

'I absolutely adore how it represents the struggle and excitement of learning a new language and entering a strange environment... The illustrations are a true work of art.'
-- Milou Reads Books, Instagram

-- Donovan's Literary Service

'An uplifting story about a migrant experience and discovering a sense of belonging.'
-- Kid Lit Mama, Instagram

'Demonstrates to young readers what it might be like to be new to a classroom (and to a country), and this book becomes a really artful, beautiful way to encourage empathy and inclusivity.'
-- Fairy Tales and Finger Paints, Instagram

'A resilient main characters successfully deals with the difficulties of moving to a new country and learning a new language serves as an excellent mirror for those going through the same challenges.'
-- AKidsBookDay.com

'A gorgeous book! This is a great book for children in a new country or a new stage in life.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer

'What a lovely, timely book this is. The illustrations tell a story all on their own. They stretch and highlight the events in Mina's life as she grows and settles into her new homeland and school.'
-- Storywraps


Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert is an eminent professor, linguist and children's author from Germany. Her career has included speech therapy and teaching at numerous universities, and 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 picture book, inspired by Sandra's extensive research into multilingualism in childcare and educational settings. She lives in Potsdam, Germany with her two daughters and pets.

Lars Baus is an illustrator from Bavaria, Germany. He studied illustration and animation at the Münster Academy of Art. Lars has worked as a graphic designer and a freelance illustrator and is the illustrator of several children's books. He lives with his family in Münster.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors