Here and There by Tamara Ellis Smith, illustrated by Evelyn Daviddi. Barefoot Books, 9781782857419, 2019
Rating 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? This is such an important book for children that are living between the homes of two parents. In this story, Ivan is enjoying the outdoors at his mom’s house (known as “here”). He especially loves mimicking all the bird songs he hears in the yard. It soon comes time for Ivan to go to his father’s house (known as “there”). Unfortunately, when Ivan gets to his father’s house, he is not really himself. We start to see Ivan compare “here” to “there” and he is having trouble fitting in with both places. Soon, his father brings out his guitar and he and Ivan find something that they can do together — make music. Ivan takes the bird sounds he heard at his mother’s house and uses them in the songs he is creating at his father’s house.
This is a great book for children navigating between the two worlds of different houses. It can be a difficult transition and this book might open up some important conversation.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of three and seven.
Who should buy it? Public and elementary school libraries, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and seven.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” pile? Yes
Reviewer: Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA
Date of Review: March 4, 2019