Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 7
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.
About the authors
Laurel Croza lived near four dam sites when she was a child, moving nine times and attending six schools before she was fourteen. I Know Here, her first picture book, illustrated by Matt James, is based on her memories of leaving Saskatchewan for Toronto. It won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Ezra Jack Keats and New York Public Library New Writer Award, and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, among many other accolades. Laurel’s second book, From There to Here, picks up where the first left off. She lives with her family in Toronto.
- Short-listed, Silver Birch Express Award
- Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
- Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
- Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens
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.
This is a touching evocation of the mixed feelings of longing and hope that accompany a move. Recommended.
Library Media Connections
[E]xpressionistic acrylic and ink illustrations add depth to the story.
School Library Journal
[A] low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Little ones struggling to adjust to a new home or missing their old one will find comfort here.
[R]eaders 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