Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident kid he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.
How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Picture Book
Review: Told completely in illustrations this book is wonderful because it has no language barrier. The story works for everyone, regardless of age, and is easy to understand and follow. It doesn’t need any words. I loved it for that reason.
The boy in Here I Am arrives in his new home where everything is strange. To keep himself safe he stays inside, watching the unfamiliar world outside, until one day he loses a keepsake which forces him to explore the world.
I was bought up bi-lingual, so while the language barrier was minimal the feelings of Here I Am are certainly familiar. When I first moved to England I felt completely like a fish out of water. I didn’t understand the references or sayings. Reading Here I Am was a reminder of that, not just the uncertainty but also finding my place in a new home (eventually).
Because Here I Am is so effective in its storytelling I think it’s a book that will stay with people for a long time.
Thank you to Curious Fox who’ve given permission for me to share Patti Kim’s letter at the end of the book: