Here I Am

h1 October 29th, 2013 by jules


(Click to enlarge)

I read just yesterday the book I’m featuring here today, what the Kirkus review (a starred one) calls “The Arrival for younger readers.” I’m lucky I’m able to show you some of the art from this book, since I asked for some spreads last-minute (this is how I roll), but spreads I have!

The book is Here I Am, published by Capstone Press in September. The story is by Patti Kim, and the art is by Sonia Sanchez. Now, I have an uncorrected proof of this, what I was calling a wordless picture book in my head. I see that the Publishers Weekly review (also starred) calls it one, too, yet the Kirkus review describes it as a “slender graphic novel.” Either way, it’s good stuff.

It tells the story of a young boy who leaves his home country—most likely, a country in Asia (in a closing author’s note, Kim notes her own childhood immigration to the U.S. from Korea)—for New York City. He and his family are making a new life in a (loud) new place. During the course of the story, the boy goes from great despondency, during which his only consolation is memories of home, spawned by a red seed he keeps with him at all times, to acceptance. Kim tells an emotionally powerful tale here, and Sanchez’s swirling art is spellbinding. She uses color to great effect to convey strong emotions, and she knows just when to let white space let the story breathe precisely where it needs to. The boy’s own imaginary visions of his former home, as prompted by his red seed, remind me of Kyo Maclear’s Virginia Wolf, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, published by Kids Can Press in 2012. (For that reason and several others, I think this book would be so good paired with that one.)

It’s an intense story of the myriad complex emotions that come with immigration. Or, as Sarah Shun-lien Bynum wrote at the New York Times, “Kim and Sanchez bring to their lively pages the heightened perceptions of the recently arrived.”

I’ll just let the art speak for itself now.

Enjoy.



(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click first image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click first image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click first image to see spread in its entirety)

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HERE I AM. Copyright © 2013 by Picture Window Books, a Capstone imprint. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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9 comments to “Here I Am

  1. These images leave me speechless. Thank-you for sharing them.


  2. This looks wonderful. I can definitely see the echo of Virginia Wolf’s illustrations in that beautiful piece with the birds blooming from the seed.


  3. Yes, Danielle, that’s precisely what made me think of the book.


  4. Really love these images, which feel both tranquil and spirited! Beautiful.


  5. I don’t know why I have let so much time go between my visits here this fall- these gorgeous pictures have reminded me of how much I love this space!


  6. I love Isabelle Arsenault’s work, too. Good call on the similarities, I’ll enjoy perusing Sonia’s website today.


  7. Yes! I love Isabelle Arsenault’s work so much, and I see a similar energy and “free” feeling of colors and lines here, too. The faces and gestures are so expressive with so few lines. I also like the layers of images and how parts of them break out of their “frames.” Thanks so much for sharing this!


  8. […] receives a starred Publisher’s Weekly review. • HERE I AM receives a sparkling review on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog. • HERE I AM is a Junior Library Guild Selection. • HERE I AM receives a stellar review in […]


  9. […] I AM (*) receives a starred Publishers Weekly review. • HERE I AM receives a sparkling review on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog. • HERE I AM is a Junior Library Guild Selection. • HERE I AM receives a stellar review in […]


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