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There

by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
     
 

When will I get There? How will I know?

A little girl ponders what the future holds, steadfast in her determination to find out for herself. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's gorgeous landscapes and the briefest of text speak to the power of imagination. Readers of all ages will find reassurance in this simple, beautiful book of ruminations about a lifelong journey

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Overview

When will I get There? How will I know?

A little girl ponders what the future holds, steadfast in her determination to find out for herself. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's gorgeous landscapes and the briefest of text speak to the power of imagination. Readers of all ages will find reassurance in this simple, beautiful book of ruminations about a lifelong journey toward tomorrow.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist

Vibrant double-page spreads create a spacious setting for this peripatetic story of a young girl pondering a big question: 'When will I get There?'
Publishers Weekly

In Fitzpatrick's (I Am I) allegorical tale, a young traveler with tousled hair questions what it means to grow up. Carrying a large satchel, the eager girl strides down a sidewalk as she asks, "When will I get There?" Her innocent questions take her over hills, through daisy fields and up into rainy skies. The full-page, softly rendered landscapes dwarf the inquisitive narrator, who wants to know, "Will I wear sensible shoes and say sensible things? Will I never say anything silly again?... Will I know all the secrets?" In a clever spread, she wonders about finding her way through a "jungle," as the facing illustration shows her amid shadowy apartment buildings where wild animals lurk and a stocking on a clothesline is really a snake. Older readers will take heart in her hopefulness and determination to "still build snowmen and sandcastles. Definitely." In the end, she decides she won't go There today because "I've got lots to do." Readers of all ages will appreciate this layered tale and feel the poignancy of her decision to cease her questioning and live in the moment. Ages 4-7. (May)

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Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
With her bag packed, a little girl asks, "When will I get there?" beginning her journey toward the future with the open curiosity of a child. She wonders how she will know when she has arrived and whether the blueberries are still blue when you are not seeing things as a child anymore. Her emotional journey vacillates between excited anticipation and reticence to leave childish ways behind. While she worries that she will "never, ever, ever, ever" be silly, she assures the reader—and herself—that she will always build sandcastles and snowmen. She also inquires if she can bring Teddy along, unable to imagine a future without his comfort. In many of the soft illustrations, she is relatively tiny, emphasizing the vastness of the world she will grow to inhabit as an adult. Yet, there are moments of empowerment—such as when she is lying in a field of daisies or contemplating the journey to Elsewhere—when her image is large, reflecting her readiness to take on what life has to offer. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

This quiet gem isn't a fairy tale or a fable, though it has the magical and thoughtful qualities of both. A child asks, "When will I get There?" as she travels through fantastic landscapes, from the rounded edge of the globe through villages and cities, rainstorms, rainbows, and even up a ladder to the stars. Every spread is inventive and alluring. The paintings are the real star of this book, but the words-which are few-lend meaning and order to what would otherwise be an assortment of pictures held together only by the persistent presence of a fluffy-haired little girl. The words add up to a question so essential that it belongs to the realm of childhood: What is the future? "Will there be a sign that says, 'Here is There'?" "Will I be really BIG, There?" "Will I wear sensible shoes and say sensible things?" "Will I know how to count the stars and how to fix the broken things?" There is a book for rumination, a rare permission to ask the unanswerable questions. The thoughts that propel it and the images that illuminate it make this volume a small wonder for children.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Kirkus Reviews
A little girl is ready to leave town and wander over green hills and valleys. She is going There, which brings up a lot of questions. What will she find? Made concrete through the idea of travel, There serves as a metaphor for growing up as the girl wonders about a variety of concepts (time, size, knowledge, childhood pleasures, struggles she may encounter). Unsure of whether to continue, she considers an imaginative haze of artful and luminous landscapes that portray her thoughts (Will she still be allowed to be silly? Will she learn to count the stars and fix broken things?) and uncertainties (What if there are dragons? She knows how to handle dragons). Thought-provoking and comforting, this selection leaves room for high-minded existential interpretation but still has an innocence that is childlike and accessible as it addresses the pleasures and pitfalls of growing up. Is the girl truly ready to go There? She isn't sure. But there's no rush-and she is awfully busy. It might be better to wait for tomorrow. (Picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596430877
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
04/27/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.76(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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