I'm Here

( 1 )

Overview

I’m here.
And you’re there.
And that’s okay.
But…
maybe there will be a gentle wind that pulls us together.
And then I’ll be here and you’ll be here, too.

Pure, powerful and deceptively simple, bestselling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds reminds us that ...

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Overview

I’m here.
And you’re there.
And that’s okay.
But…
maybe there will be a gentle wind that pulls us together.
And then I’ll be here and you’ll be here, too.

Pure, powerful and deceptively simple, bestselling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds reminds us that children—and the friendships they make—can take flight in unexpected ways.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the vein of The Dot and Ish, Reynolds offers another characteristically gentle and empathetic small-format book, written from the perspective of a boy who watches, from a distance, as other children play: "They are there. I am here." Their voices are "Splashes upon splashes of sound" that he hears "like one big noise. A big drum. Boom. Boom." When a sheet of paper floats down from the sky ("White rectangle. How did you find me?"), the boy folds it into an airplane. His imagination sends him soaring in a paper airplane ride before the narrative returns to reality, and the plane is retrieved by a girl who returns it to him: " ‘I'm here,' says the girl's smile." Though back matter explains that the book was written "to help us all reach out, embrace, and appreciate children in the autism spectrum," the pared-down prose and artwork, painted in Reynolds's typical loose style, are open to multiple interpretations and may facilitate conversations about reaching out to others who are different—and alone—for many reasons. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Eloquent, fanciful text and illustrations that sparkle with clarity ... any child who is isolated, introverted or simply self-contained will find something of him- or herself to recognize and appreciate here ... an excellent selection, replete with warmth, originality and the promise of good things to come."

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2001, *STAR

Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
A lonely, young boy's imagination takes flight when he picks up a piece of paper in the school yard and folds it into a paper airplane. Imagining himself as the pilot, he is sent soaring back to the heavens, when his aircraft nearly touches the ground, by the other children on the playground. When the plane eventually returns to him it is brought by another child, a girl who reaches out to him in friendship. The charmingly simple illustrations in this book beautifully compliment the poetic storyline. Children who have ever felt to be an outsider will immediately relate to the little boy and his airplane and may even find a method of reaching out to other children after reading this delightful story. This would work well as an accompaniment to a lesson on friendship or feelings or may be of good use in a special needs classroom. Children will be able to identify with either the boy or the girl who returns his paper airplane. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Created as a companion to a film of the same name, this quiet wisp of a story poignantly portrays the loneliness and social challenges experienced by a boy on the autistic spectrum. The pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoon illustrations, combined with ample white space and varied font sizes, render a warm, light touch to what could be a heavy subject. Pictured sitting alone on a busy, noisy playground, the boy describes how the cacophony created by the other children drives him to sit apart: "They are there. I am here." When a gentle breeze wafts a rectangle of paper into his lap, he painstakingly folds it into a paper airplane. In his imagination, the plane flies him off blissfully into the sky, then swoops down nearly to the ground only to be launched into space again by the playground kids. In reality, a girl finds the paper airplane when it floats to the ground and returns it to the boy, her smile and selfless action bridging the gap between them. The utility of this book for young children, whether or not they are on the autistic spectrum, will be greatly enhanced with adult facilitation. Best for collections needing very simple materials to start conversations about human differences.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416996491
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 86,928
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator of I’m Here, The Dot, and Ish; and illustrator for the New York Times #1 bestseller Someday by Alison McGhee. He is also the illustrator of Going Places, Little Boy, Charlie and Kiwi, and the Judy Moody series. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he is co-owner of the Blue Bunny bookstore. Visit Peter at PeterHReynolds.com.

Peter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator of I’m Here, The Dot, and Ish; and illustrator for the New York Times #1 bestseller Someday by Alison McGhee. He is also the illustrator of Going Places, Little Boy, Charlie and Kiwi, and the Judy Moody series. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he is co-owner of the Blue Bunny bookstore. Visit Peter at PeterHReynolds.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    For Ages 4-110

    Peter Reynolds wrote I'm Here to reach out, embrace, and appreciate children on the autism spectrum.

    I shared I'm Here with Dr. Paul Mullen. Dr. Paul, as he is known to his clients, is a licensed clinical psychologist who focuses on the wellness and health of young people. I asked Dr. Paul a few questions about I'm Here.

    Mr. Schu: Can you please share your reaction to I'm Here? What is its message?

    Dr. Paul: Well isn't this the cutest book ever? And would you believe that I've had more than a few clients over the years who communicated in ways not unlike this little guy? Well, the thing that strikes me about this book is that it's message might not be apparent to children when they first encounter the book. Instead, it is one that will surely grow out of the conversations between them and the adult who has read it with them. The message that I hope is conveyed, one that was conveyed to me in a number of psychotherapeutic technique courses over the years, is that each person has their own style and method of communication. We are prone to miss non-traditional communication if we don't watch for it. I suppose a child psychologist is especially aware of this - kids are not likely to share themselves "grown-up style." If I am to understand them, then, I had better be open to meeting them where they are rather than expecting them to come to me. Peers and adults in the lives of special needs children would do well to do the same. In doing so, let there be no question that the child is "here," being heard. So if a child communicates through basketball, hit the courts. If through Pokemon, "gotta catch 'em all." And if through paper airplanes, bust out the paper and get to it.

    Mr. Schu: Is there another example of allowing a child to communicate in his or her own special way?

    Dr. Paul: Years ago I worked with a child who was an expert in elevators. I took to calling him "Otis." He'd always get off-task with elevator trivia and at first I thought my role was to help him be less tangential. That didn't work so well, and he may have perceived my not being willing to speak his "language" as some sort of rejection. So one afternoon I suggested we have our meeting IN the elevator. I swear I met him again for the first time that day! This kid was floored (forgive the pun) that I was willing to enter the elevator, and his world. In return, he opened up and shared himself like never before. Elevators made sense to him, and I think the movement calmed him too. So it made sense that we were most able to connect in that setting. PS: World's Fastest Elevator - Taipei 101 Tower. ;)

    Mr. Schu: Do you think a child who feels isolated will identify with the boy?

    Dr. Paul: The value of "I'm Here" for a special needs population may well be to legitimatize their clever and special forms of communication. To the larger population, the message is a reminder that we be open to varied types of communication. Finally, the book places welcome emphasis on the notion that it is not most important HOW we communicate, only THAT we communicate.

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