Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed OwlKids The Pirate and the Penguin (age 4-8 ) written and illustrated by Patricia Storms. Still buzzing from Canadian pride after the Olympics, we’re reviewing the very Canadian feeling book I Know Here (age 4-7) written by Laurel Croza and illustrated by Matt James. I have to thank Trish at Groundwood Books for my review copy.
These words uttered by her brother meant everything was about to change. Her family lived in a trailer park in Saskatchewan with other families who’s parents were working on building the dam. The dam would soon be complete and they would have to move. But this was her home. She didn’t know Toronto. She knew here. The trees, the animals, the trailer where she went to school with nine other children, these were what she knew. She wondered if the people in Toronto have seen the slights she has seen. The move was inevitable so to remember all of her favourite things, she drew a picture. She kept this picture folded up small and safe in her pocket so even when she was there, in Toronto, she would still be here.
My kids loved I Know Here. We live in the big city and have talked about leaving, relocating to the country. They could relate to the little girls feelings of leaving behind the world she knew and love for something foreign and maybe a little scary. Laurel‘s words spoke the thoughts of a child in a beautiful way; the sense of missing the road or the grocery delivery truck. There’s not a lot of dialog, mainly the thoughts going through the little girl’s head as she observes everything around her familiar surroundings. Accompanied by Matt‘s folky-Canadian illustrations, you are transported to a small trailer town in the prairies. My oldest daughter loved the illustrations and would spend quiet moments in her room just looking at the pages.
If you’re around the Toronto area, you can drop into the book launch of I Know Here on Saturday, March 6 (2-5pm, reading at 3:30pm) at TYPE Books on Queen Street West.
You can add a copy of I Know Here to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore or from Groundwood Books. For other children’s book reviews, have a read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.