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Here I Am (NA) Hardcover – September 1, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 ratings

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Hardcover, September 1, 2013
$23.99
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This contemplative, wordless picture book weaves the tale of a young immigrant boy’s first journey to his new home in America. Overcome by the foreign city and its lights, noisiness, alien shapes, and new language—depicted in nonsensical letters and symbols—the boy takes solace in a single red seed pocketed from his past, which he carries with him everywhere and which inspires colorful flights of imagination. When the seed falls out of his brownstone window, he ventures beyond his fear to discover generosity, friendship, and a new beginning, sharing the things about his past that he loves in his new place. Kim’s tale is well wrought without the use of words and tailor-made for emerging readers, and it’s perfectly matched by Sanchez’s truly wonderful, sprawling art and colors, bringing the city to life in an understated yet warm crescendo. Here I Am is a unique, smart, and welcoming book designed for starting fresh and softening fears. Grades K-3. --Ben Spanner

Review

★  In a nearly wordless picture book, Kim and Sanchez examine the difficulties, adjustments, and eventual triumphs that accompany one boy's transition from an unspecified Asian nation to New York City with his family. The book's very wordlessness highlights the boy's unfamiliarity with English--signs on storefronts read as gibberish; a teacher neatly writes "bla bla bla" on the chalkboard--and Sanchez's palette veers from the dull tans and grays of the airport to the shocking blue and yellow lights of the city at night with a page turn. The boy is initially despondent, cranky, lonely, and bored--his only comfort is a red seed he carries, a memento of home. When that seed finds its way into the pocket of a girl skipping rope outside the boy's brownstone, he's finally drawn into the city, learning to embrace street food, friendly pigeons, and the smells wafting from a corner cafe. For children who have moved to an unfamiliar country or town, it's a sensitive reminder that they are not alone; for others, it'll be an eye-opening window into what those kids are going through. STARRED -- Publisher's Weekly ★ 

★ Beautiful, evocative pictures tell the story of a boy who comes from an Asian land to a big U.S. city.Images in this virtually wordless, slender graphic novel range from dreamlike curlicues to bold, dark cityscapes and emotional vignettes. The boy looks out of the window of a plane, great sadness in his body language. He and his father, mother and baby sister go through a crowded airport and a noisy and bewildering city to a small apartment. He finds the subway and the streets confusing, and he does not understand anything at school. The boy cherishes a red seed he has evidently brought from home. By accident, he drops it out the apartment window and then goes on a frantic search for it, finding new and interesting places along the way. He discovers he loves big, salted pretzels and shares some with the pigeons. When a girl with bouncy braids and beads in her hair climbs a tree and hangs upside down, the red seed falls out of her pocket. She and the boy plant it together, and as the seasons pass, friendship, seed and baby sister grow. An author's note describes the storyteller's voyage at age 4 from Korea to Washington, D.C.Sánchez has captured a kaleidoscope of emotion and powerful sensations in a way children will grasp completely. It's The Arrival for younger readers. (Graphic novel. 5-10). STARRED -- Kirkus ★

Product details

  • Grade Level : Kindergarten - 5
  • Item Weight : 15 ounces
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1623700361
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1623700362
  • Publisher : Picture Window Books (September 1, 2013)
  • Product Dimensions : 9 x 0.44 x 11 inches
  • Reading level : 5 - 10 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 26 ratings