Friday, April 23, 2010
I Know Here, written by Laurel Croza and illustrated by Matt James. Groundwood. 2010. $18.95 ages 6 and up
"This is where I live. I don't know Toronto. I know here.
I know this road, the one I am walking on. One end goes
to the dam and the other end stops at my school. I count
the trailers on my side of the road. There are seven and
mine makes eight."
When her brother makes the announcement that they are moving to Toronto because the dam is soon to be completed, our young narrator knows that everything is about to change. Currently, they are living in a trailer park in Saskatchewan while her father works at the dam site. Her life here is what she knows. She doesn't know Toronto.
As she walks the roads that have been her home she is reminded of all that she has come to love in her time here. She knows the trees, the animals, the sounds of night, and the smell of a fox. She knows the hills, the man who brings their groceries and the trailer that serves as her school.
As she considers the move, knowing that it is inevitable, she draws a picture of the things she has seen and the memories she wants to keep when she leaves this place she so loves. She will fold up everything that she draws and has memories of into a small bundle that can be carried in her pocket and take it with her...to Toronto, when summer comes and they must move on.
This is a book that will find fans in those who have loved a place and moved from it, or those who anticipate a move from the country to the city, or the other way around. It will prompt discussion of wonderful memories and fear of change. In the end, it leaves readers with a sense of promise for the future. Lovely!