From There to Here

From There to Here

by Laurel Croza, Matt James
     
 


A little girl and her family have just moved across the country by train. Their new neighborhood in the city of Toronto is very different from their home in the Saskatchewan bush, and at first everything about “there” seems better than “here.” The little girl’s dad has just finished building a dam across the Saskatchewan River, and… See more details below

Overview


A little girl and her family have just moved across the country by train. Their new neighborhood in the city of Toronto is very different from their home in the Saskatchewan bush, and at first everything about “there” seems better than “here.” The little girl’s dad has just finished building a dam across the Saskatchewan River, and his new project is to build a highway through Toronto. In Saskatchewan, he would come home for lunch every day, but now he doesn’t come until supper. The family used to love to look at the stars and the northern lights dancing in the night sky. But in the city, all they can see is the glare from the streetlights. All the kids used to run and play together, but now older brother Doug has his own friends. Then one day there is a knock on the door. It is Anne, who lives kitty-corner and is also eight, going on nine, and suddenly living in Toronto takes on a whole new light. Laurel Croza and Matt James have beautifully captured the voice and intense feelings of a young child who, in the midst of upheaval, finds hope in her new surroundings.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Leonard S. Marcus
There is a travelogue aspect to Matt James's intensely hued expressionist paintings of the story's two locales. We are given just a few telling glimpses of Saskatchewan, as a child might piece them together in memory…and of Toronto's particular mix of small-town-like neighborhoods and grander structures. It is not a portrait, in the usual sense, of either place, yet readers will feel these immersive, dreamlike images have taken them somewhere far from home.
Publishers Weekly
★ 05/19/2014
In a lovely companion story to 2010’s I Know Here, Croza’s heroine and her family have settled in Toronto. While the girl’s references to “here” meant their rural Saskatchewan dwelling in the previous book, Toronto is “here” for her family now, and their former home has become “there.” Both locations bleed together in some of James’s thickly painted images, emphasizing the central role they hold in the girl’s mind and heart. Croza doesn’t avoid the reality that some things were perhaps better in the country (“Here. No stars, no northern lights”), but readers will come to understand that while “here” and “there” are different, different is OK, especially when you have the support of a new friend. Ages 4–7. (May)
From the Publisher

A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice

“Readers will feel these immersive, dreamlike images have taken them somewhere far from home.” — New York Times

"A low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience." — Kirkus, starred review

"Readers will come to understand that while 'here' and 'there' are different, different is OK, especially when you have the support of a new friend." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

"James’s naive style has an infectious, unfettered energy. Croza’s spare text captures the narrator’s feelings of displacement with poetic immediacy." — Quill & Quire, starred review

"The palette of the Toronto scenes is predominately blue-sky sunny, reflecting the story’s ultimate optimism . . . we know that the ride begun at the close of the book promises both amity and adventure." — Horn Book

"Little ones struggling to adjust to a new home or missing their old one will find comfort here." — Booklist

"Expressionistic acrylic and ink illustrations add depth to the story, as do the marvelous endpapers." — School Library Journal

"This is a touching evocation of the mixed feelings of longing and hope that accompany a move. Recommended." — Library Media Connections

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this sequel to I Know Here, our young heroine must adjust to her new home and new life in the city of Toronto after living in the Saskatchewan bush across the country. Her life is very different. Her father’s schedule keeps him away all day; there are no trees; the stars are lost in the city lights; she has no friends. One day, however, Anne, a neighbor her age, knocks on the door. Soon they are riding their bikes together, and smiling. “It was different there. Not the same as here.” But perhaps it will be all right. End pages offer a vigorously painted map of Canada, showing a few creatures common to the provinces. The same style displays contrasts in geography, the differences between the rural “there” and the urban “here.” The pages are crowded with the experiences of our young narrator. It is finally a happy story of two “almost nine” bi-racial youngsters. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 7.
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
K-Gr 3—This continuation of the author's I Know Here (Groundwood, 2010) contrasts the experiences of a girl who had been living in the wilds of Saskatchewan with those of her new life in Toronto. Her father's work in construction has brought about the move, and the stark differences in lifestyle drive the narrative: "There. We lived on a road…A road without a name. Here. We live on a street…Birch Street. I don't see any birch trees." There is a nostalgic tone to the spare text, as the girl recalls living in a trailer surrounded by nature's majesty and playing with the other workers' children who "traveled in a pack—all the kids, so long as we could keep up." Living in the city means asphalt and locked doors and streetlights dimming the stars, all factors that make the move more unsettling. The book can be read one its own but clearly works best as a companion title, for without its predecessor the girl's former life loses some of its emotional heft. For example, one needs to know that she was the only third grader in her one-room school in order to fully appreciate the neighbor Anne, who meets the moving truck the afternoon, they arrive and announces that she, too, is "Eight, almost nine." As in the first book, expressionistic acrylic and ink illustrations add depth to the story, as do the marvelous endpapers depicting a map of central Canada. A satisfying sequel to I Know Here.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-19
Following the spare, deeply felt I Know Here (2010), a just-moved child compares her old home in rural Saskatchewan to her new Toronto one. "It's different here," she begins. Instead of tall trees, the aurora borealis and trailers parked by the roadside, she sees tall buildings, lawns, streetlights and paved roads. There are other changes too: Her big brother can take a bus into town, and her father, working on a highway project rather than a dam, doesn't come home for lunch now. Using thickly daubed brushwork and roughly drawn figures to give his illustrations a childlike atmosphere, James echoes the child's ruminative observations with contrasting city and forest scenes. Though the city seems to suffer in comparison, a knock at the door brings one difference that casts all the others in a more positive light: a new friend who is also "[e]ight, almost nine." "It was different there," she concludes, with a subtle but significant shift of emphasis. "Not the same as here." Once again, a low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience. (Picture book. 6-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554983650
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
937,470
Product dimensions:
7.26(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt


“East. That’s the direction we went — from there to here — all the way by train. Pulling out of Saskatoon, rattling faster and faster on the tracks, swaying everyone to sleep. Except me, my forehead pressed against the window, listening to the train whistle, “Gooooood-bye.”

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• *

“There. A tarp of twinkle-twinkle little stars hung high above our trailers. And on some nights, a special show when aurora borealis shimmered in the sky, swirling and twirling, dancing just for us.

Here. No stars, no northern lights. The street lamps all in a row — standing attention — glaring down the dark.”

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• *

“Here. Anne and me on our bikes — down our street, through the church parking lot, past the apartment buildings, towards Yonge Street and lunch at The Red Barn — pedaling faster and faster, the Toronto air rushes to greet me, tugging up the corners of my mouth. Anne is smiling, too.”

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