Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here I Am

Have you ever gone to a new country?  Where everything looks strange, different, even scary? You can't understand what anyone around you is saying?  I can kind of relate; when I was 16 I spent a summer in Greece.  It was gorgeous, but there was a lot of adapting/being confused...and I knew I would be heading back to my home country.

This is not the case with our young protagonist in this new picture book.

Here I Am by Patti Kim (and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez) is a wordless picture book about a boy who immigrates to the United States from Korea.  His treasured souvenir from home is a beautiful red seed, which he uses to imagine life back in Korea.  One day, his seed falls out the window and is picked up by a little girl jumping rope.  As the boy leaves his house to follow the little girl, and get his seed back, he embarks on a wondrous tour of the city.  He meets a wide array of characters, and comes to realize this new place isn't so bad.

Words aren't needed, as the beautiful illustrations convey all the noise and confusion into which the little boy and his family fly.  Using non-linear progression and beautiful mixed media, Here I Am shows us a boy's journey to a new land, new language, and new friends.  The gibberish on the signs shows readers what the boy is seeing.

This would be a great book for anyone.  For those new to a language and country, they can see that others have made this journey.  For those who are local to the country, they can try to understand where new kids are coming from.  Since the book is wordless, it can appeal to both at the same time!  With its beautiful illustrations, and universal message, I would recommend this book to everyone.  Definitely want a copy for my library, and a copy for myself!

Also, from Capstone, here's a great book trailer!

Here I Am is published by Capstone Young Readers.  Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Release Date: 09.02.2013

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