I Know Here

by Laurel Croza and Matt James

When she learns that her family will be moving from rural Saskatchewan to Toronto... read more

When she learns that her family will be moving from rural Saskatchewan to Toronto in the summer, a young girl simply states her anxiety: “This is where I live. I don’t know Toronto. I know here.” “Here” is the road she lives on, the forest behind her trailer home, and the sound of the wolves that howl at night. “Here” is the truck that delivers groceries, her teacher and the nine kids in her school, and “the squishy spot by the beaver dam where my little sister, Kathie, catches frogs and puts them in a bucket.” The details of place are quietly comforting even as they convey a sense of pending loss in Laurel Croza’s graceful narrative. The story concludes with the young narrator’s burst of childlike inspiration: she can preserve her memories by drawing a picture, taking them with her when she goes. Matt James’s soothing illustrations offer a sense of intimacy imbued with a little whimsy—a perfect accompaniment to this lyrical, heartfelt story. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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