March 14, 2014

From There to Here

by Laurel Croza
Illustrated by Matt James
Groundwood Books
32 pp.
Ages 4-7
For release May 2014

The little girl in I Know Here (Groundwood, 2010), Laurel Croza and Matt James' first book together and the 2011 winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, recollects all the wonderful attributes of her home in northeastern Saskatchewan.  After father's work on a dam there is complete, the family would be moving to Toronto, and the young girl was anticipating that move and what she would miss of her home.  Now the little girl and her family have arrived in Toronto and, in poetic observations, she compares their life "there" to their new life "here", in From There to Here.

Of course, it is so easy for the young girl to still see all the positives of her former home and how different everything is in Toronto.  From her father's job, to the type of roads, the buildings, time with family, the vegetation, the sky–everything is different.  

"It's different here, not the same as there."  

Laurel Croza's clean text emphasizes the simple thought processes of the girl as she navigates her mindset from the country to her new urban setting.  It's succinct but progressive.  And illustrator Matt James, who won the 2013 Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration, emphasizes with elegance the differences between the "there" and the "here", never making one look better than the other, just different but similar.  Matt James juxtaposes the colours and lines of trees with bed-frames and windows blinds, or the northern lights and the street lamps, with such refinement. As in any great picture book, the text should be complemented by the illustrations, as Laurel Croza and Matt James have done so easily in From There to Here.   They found the means to endow memories and new experiences with the quality of perspective, effortlessly taking the reader on a smooth journey From There to Here.

1 comment:

  1. we used this book from K-8 to spark our inquiry