Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I know here by Laurel Croza, illustrated by Matt James

This picturebook is the winner of the 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book awards for excellence in children's literature (picture book category, of course).

A young girl is sad at having to leave the trailer park she and her family have been living in while her father helps to build a dam. She's scared and worried about going to live in a big city. So she remembers all the wonderful things she's seen and done in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, and her teacher helps her think of a special idea to keep her knowledge with her when she moves.

It took several readings before I really started to appreciate this book. It has a slow pace and reflective quality that will appeal to a smaller group of older children than the usual rollicking picture book I use in storytime. The illustrations are made with thick swirls of paint, but still have incredible detail (although I still think the frog one is seriously weird).

This book probably won't grab many listeners are storytime, but as a moving story it's excellent.

Verdict: Highly recommended if you have a migrant population or a lot of moving around, but despite the book's excellent writing and art I think it's appeal may be limited.

ISBN: 978-0888999238; Published February 2010 by Groundwood; Borrowed from the library.

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