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I Know Here

by Laurel Croza

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-Moving from rural Saskatchewan to the city holds a lot of opportunity for a girl and her brother. The young protagonist experiences her share of apprehension as well, "This is where I live. I don't know Toronto. I know here." "Here" is first described as a single, trailer-lined road that runs from the dam that her father is working on to the school. Readers are then treated to the flora and fauna of the forest, hills, and creeks that the girl will miss. There's the man who delivers the groceries, her teacher, and her classmates, too. Miss Hendrickson suggests that she draw a picture encompassing all that she'd like to remember. She does and after sharing it with the class, she folds it away for safekeeping. "I will fold up the howl of the wolf and the smell of the fox in his cage...and the feel of my heart beating fast as I swooped over my road in a five-seater airplane. I will fold my drawing up small, put it safe in my pocket and I will take my road with me. To Toronto." The simple, straightforward text is spot-on in capturing the child's sensibilities and feelings. James's vibrant acrylic and India ink on panel artwork brings the girl's world to life, with its starkness, beauty, and haunting appeal. The stylized paintings at times have a surreal quality and are almost dreamlike in their composition. A regional look at a universal slice of childhood.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Based on the author's childhood memories of leaving northeastern Saskatchewan for Toronto, this debut picture book captures a child's fear of moving with a touch of magic realism. Both words and pictures show a little girl's frustration and uncertainty when she learns that she will be uprooted ( I don't know Toronto ) and her sadness at leaving behind what she knows and loves. Before she moves, she lives in a trailer park where her dad is building a dam, and energetic, colorful pictures in acrylic and india ink show her playing hide-and-seek in the forest, listening to wolves howl at night, and going to school with nine other kids: only me in grade three. She is terrified of the city, and the pictures show her imagined images of big looming buildings that look like monsters. Kids facing their own wrenching upheavals will take heart in the girl's celebration of her roots and what she knows about herself and the world, all of which give her strength to move on.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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