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Here I Am
Here I Am
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Reviewed Titles Award Winners

Here I Am

by Patti Kim
Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident kid he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.

 
ISBN978-1-4795-1931-6
PublisherPicture Window Books
Age Level5-10 Years
Reading LevelGrades K-5
GenreRealistic Fiction
Trim Size9 x 11
Page Count40
LanguageEnglish
Copyright2014
Paperback
Price
$7.95
 


 
Additional Formats
Price: $14.95
 

Reviews

Huffington Post - Minh Lee, Bottom Shelf Books

"A beautiful story about the challenges of moving to a new country, Sánchez's hectic style effectively captures the sometimes overwhelming nature of the immigrant experience. The book also deftly shows the young boy acclimating to his new surroundings, while also recognizing that his culture has something beautiful to offer this new home." - Huffington Post

February 4, 2014

The New York Times - Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

"Patti Kim forgoes text altogether in her winsome “Here I Am”. . . .Kim and Sánchez bring to their lively pages the heightened perceptions of the recently arrived. . . .From the moment he lands at J.F.K., the images vibrate with energy and detail. . . .The boy starts out feeling isolated and unhappy, but then embarks on a solo journey through his neighborhood that culminates in the making of a friend and a newfound sense of belonging." - The New York Times

October 13, 2013

 

The Guardian - Imogen Russell Willilams

"Like Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Here I Am does a superlative job of conveying the immigrant’s yearning to belong, to shuffle together the new and old cards of identity into a coherent pack. The three words of the title on the last page, floating above the boy’s reflection in a pool of Monet-green water, are both an affirmation and a satisfying full stop." - The Guardian

January 1, 2015

Book Links, "Crossing Borders with Books" - Angela Leeper, Director of Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Rich

"This contemplative, wordless picture book depicts a young boy who has recently journeyed to America. Patterned illustrations that invite reflection show the boy’s fear in a confusing new environment. After the boy accidentally drops a beloved seed from his homeland and a girl skips away with it, he’s drawn out of his apartment building and becomes more at ease with his neighborhood." - Book Links, "Crossing Borders with Books"

January 1, 2015

 

School Library Journal, "Status Conscious" - Ruth E. Quiroa

"After immigrating to the U.S., the young boy in this wordless text longs for his former home. With mouting frustration, he mopes indoors until his precious red seed, brought from his native country, falls out the window. Illustrations use flexible graphic novel panels, sometimes spilling onto strategic white space, and colors that aptly express the plot's emotional trajectory." - School Library Journal, "Status Conscious"

March 1, 2017

School Library Journal, "Books About Friendship: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly ¦ J - Deborah B Ford

"Wordless and a graphic novel, this work’s themes of change, acceptance, and friendship blend well together and are showcased by Sanchez’s soft illustrations. . . .In addition to using the book in a unit or storytime on friends, it can easily be used to discuss empathy for second language learners or cultural tolerance." - School Library Journal, "Books About Friendship: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly ¦ J

June 24, 2014

 

School Library Journal, "An Expanded Cultural Diversity Booklist: SLJ Readers Re - Ted McCoy, Springfield City Library, MA

"In this visually impactful wordless picture book, Kim tells the story of a young boy who immigrates with his family to a new country. Scared and uncomfortable, the child keeps a seed from his former homeland as solace in the midst of the unfamiliar surroundings, classmates, and language. When he loses it, the youngster goes out to explore and finds new wonders, from the neighborhood pretzel stand to making friends to discovering the rewards of planting old seeds in new soil." - School Library Journal, "An Expanded Cultural Diversity Booklist: SLJ Readers Re

May 9, 2014

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)

"There are similarities here to Tan’s The Arrival (BCCB 1/08), both in theme and in device, as the local signs and teacher’s words appear incomprehensible to the protagonist; this is, however, a much more kid-focused experience. Mixed-media illustrations by Spanish illustrator Sanchez incorporate swift, hand-drawn lines, sweeps of saturated reds and translucent aquas, soft, smudgy textures, and occasional collaged elements, and the often-paneled result has the sophistication of a graphic novel. Some aspects of the kid’s experience will take some decoding, but audiences will easily perceive the changing mood as the gloomy city becomes more colorful and eventually culminates in the soft green embrace of the park." - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)

January 1, 2014

 

Horn Book Magazine - Robin L. Smith

"Newcomers to any country, and the adults who work with immigrant children and their families, will find a lot to talk about here." - Horn Book Magazine

November 1, 2013

School Library Journal - Ted McCoy, Oakland Public Library, CA

"In this visually impactful wordless book, Kim tells the story of a young boy who immigrates with his family to a new country. . . .Sánchez’s engaging mixed-media illustrations are expressive and effectively utilize white space. The innovative page layout and design significantly incorporate graphic-novel elements to tell the story, using panels of differing sizes, line color, and width, and superimposing panels on a larger background image. Kim and Sánchez have created a unique picture book that explores important themes relevant to many young readers, including immigration and adjusting to a new home." - School Library Journal

November 1, 2013

 

Publishers Weekly

"STAR REVIEW! In a nearly wordless picture book, Kim and Sanchez examine the difficulties, adjustments, and eventual triumphs that accompany one boy’s transition from an unspecified Asian nation to New York City with his family. The book’s very wordlessness highlights the boy’s unfamiliarity with English—signs on storefronts read as gibberish; a teacher neatly writes “bla bla bla” on the chalkboard—and Sanchez’s palette veers from the dull tans and grays of the airport to the shocking blue and yellow lights of the city at night with a page turn. . . .For children who have moved to an unfamiliar country or town, it’s a sensitive reminder that they are not alone; for others, it’ll be an eye-opening window into what those kids are going through." - Publishers Weekly

September 30, 2013

Booklist Online - Ben Spanner

"Kim’s tale is well wrought without the use of words and tailor-made for emerging readers, and it’s perfectly matched by Sanchez’s truly wonderful, sprawling art and colors, bringing the city to life in an understated yet warm crescendo. Here I Am is a unique, smart, and welcoming book designed for starting fresh and softening fears." - Booklist Online

September 23, 2013

 

Shelf Awareness - JoAnn Jonas, children's librarian, freelance book reviewer

"The universal themes in the story speak to a wide audience. Creative use of color, cartoon panels and graphic design make this story of adjusting to a new home a knockout." - Shelf Awareness

September 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews

"STAR REVIEW! Beautiful, evocative pictures tell the story of a boy who comes from an Asian land to a big U.S. city. Images in this virtually wordless, slender graphic novel range from dreamlike curlicues to bold, dark cityscapes and emotional vignettes. . . .Sánchez has captured a kaleidoscope of emotion and powerful sensations in a way children will grasp completely. It’s The Arrival for younger readers." - Kirkus Reviews

August 15, 2013

 

Working Mother - Lela Nargi

"This charmingly illustrated story tells of an immigrant boy who must navigate the streets and customs of a foreign city. It's sure to appeal to any child who’s ever felt like a fish out of water." - Working Mother

June 19, 2014

Amnesty International UK - Mairi Kidd, consultant for education and arts projects

"A near-wordless and highly accessible portrait of migrant experience that cleverly contrasts an opening of bright, light-filled rural settings with a grey cityscape to reflect the anxiety and loneliness of the young migrant child in his unfamiliar new home. The setting is Asia/America but the story is universal; Kim includes an afterword that details her own experiences on migrating from Korea to the USA as a child in the 70s. Here I Am! is ideal for developing visual literacy skills and for use with mixed-ability groups and with EAL learners." - Amnesty International UK

October 4, 2017

 

A Fuse 8 Production, School Library Journal - Elizabeth Bird

"Kirkus called this book “The Arrival for kids” and they weren’t wrong. Again it’s a book about how immigration affects an individual, but this time it’s clearly a picture book intended for younger kids." - A Fuse 8 Production, School Library Journal

April 28, 2017

Brightly, "15 Books for Kids About the Immigrant Experience in America" - Laura Lambert

"This book with no words nevertheless captures what it’s like to be an immigrant in the big city — disorienting, unfamiliar, overwhelming, alienating, new. Though there’s little in the way of text in this story about a boy and his family from an unnamed Asian country, there’s plenty for readers to think and talk about. In the author’s note, Kim shares her own immigration from Korea to Washington D.C." - Brightly, "15 Books for Kids About the Immigrant Experience in America"

October 1, 2016

 

Book Links, "More than Words"

"When a boy and his family immigrate to New York City, he experiences confusion and loneliness until he braves the outside and discovers the wonders his new neighborhood has to offer. Sanchez’s mixed-media artwork captures the range of emotions experienced in adjusting to a move." - Book Links, "More than Words"

April 1, 2016

Fatherly - Steve Schiff

"Never has the overwhelming buzz of big city life been depicted with so few words. Actually, it’s the lack of words that allows you and your kid to step into the shoes of the little immigrant boy at the center of this story and empathize with his and his family’s experience." - Fatherly

November 25, 2015

 

Skipping Stones magazine

"Experience a young boy’s journey to a new life in a new country, a new world full of possibility, and a new future of hope in this exquisitely illustrated book…" - Skipping Stones magazine

October 1, 2015

International Examiner - Fei Wu Huang

"This story retells the experiences of the immigrant through a positive lens without ever having to say a word. Kim and illustrator Sonia Sanchez provides us with an uneasy reality filled with moments that turn despair into hope, fear into joy, and mere strangers into long time friendships. With each picture revealing more and more of the boy‘s development and growth, it is not until the gathering of all these individual snippets of his transformation that helps readers of all backgrounds to gain a better understanding of the common issues that immigrant families are faced with." - International Examiner

December 17, 2014

 

The Writer's Block blog, The Loft Literacy Center - Bao Phi, Program Director of the Loft Literacy Center

"What I love about this book is that you can add whatever language you speak to the pages, or use none at all. . . .Sometimes, when we are done reading through Here I Am together, my daughter smiles and asks me to read it to her again. Ultimately that’s the best review for a children’s book I can give." - The Writer's Block blog, The Loft Literacy Center

December 1, 2014

Library Media Connection - Samantha Roslund, School Media Specialist, Hillel Day School, Farmington, Michig

"STARRED REVIEW! Mixed media illustrations steal the show. Each page is masterfully crafted and Sanchez creatively uses space to guide the eye. Each drawing tells us a little bit more about the boy and who he's becoming. With so many English Language Learners in American schools, this book is a must-have in every school library. Highly Recommended." - Library Media Connection

March 1, 2014

 

Children's Literature @ NYPL blog - Elizabeth Bird, Children's Center at 42nd Street

"Akin to The Arrival but in picture book form. Tells the story in pictures of a family newly immigrated to the United Sates and the challenges of starting a life in a new place." - Children's Literature @ NYPL blog

January 24, 2014

EarlyWord Kids blog - Lisa Von Drasek

"This wordless graphic format picture book depicts an immigrant child’s experience plunged into a foreign land. Reminiscent of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, it is perfect for any child who is encountering new immigrants for the first time." - EarlyWord Kids blog

December 6, 2013

 

The Children’s Bookshelf, Central Michigan University, Public Broadcasting Cente - Sue Ann Martin

"HERE I AM is a gorgeous wordless picture book about change, loneliness, sharing and acceptance and is told through dozens of pictures and picture fragments. This book requires children to “read the pictures” and grasp the story of a little boy who migrates to a new country with his family. . . .HERE I AM, story by Patti Kim and pictures by Sonia Sanchez, captures the immigrant story through beautifully detailed and engaging pictures. This book will enhance visual literacy for ages 5-9..." - The Children’s Bookshelf, Central Michigan University, Public Broadcasting Cente

November 13, 2013

Book Dragon blog, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center - Terry Hong

"In a most memorable example of ‘show, don’t tell,’ Kim’s so-worth-the-wait picture book has nary a word in sight. Whimsically captured in artist Sonia Sánchez‘s dazzling panels-in-constant-motion, Here I Am is an exquisite book to be savored again and again…each ‘reading’ promises to reveal yet another delightful, thoughtful detail. . . .a universal story for all." - Book Dragon blog, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

November 6, 2013

 

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog - Jules

"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. . . .It’s an intense story of the myriad complex emotions that come with immigration." - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog

October 29, 2013

NC Teacher Stuff Blog - Jeff Barger

"This is one of the best books that I have read this year. Here I Am captures the experience of moving to a new country with such heart and warmth, but it is not cloyingly sweet. The illustrations brilliantly show you the cacophony of a new town when you don't know the language and the main character's initial despondency." - NC Teacher Stuff Blog

October 14, 2013

 

Capitol Choices - Edie Ching

"A poetic look at the immigration experience. . . .the emotions that come through loud and clear are genuine for everyone. A book to provoke discussion or just quiet reflection about being an outsider." - Capitol Choices

August 15, 2013

Eugenia Kim, award-winning author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter

"Vivid illustrations depict a touching wordless story of surprising depth. . . .The universal tale of the irony of loss that leads to acceptance and growth is portrayed with a rich, yet simple, sequence of lively visuals. This is a charming and meaningful book I wish I’d had when my son was young." - Eugenia Kim, award-winning author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter

July 15, 2013

 

Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Colors of the Mountain

"...a marvelous picture book, a motile encapsulation of the turbulent world of a child uprooted from a faraway land, the confusion and sadness of his strange new world. Strongly compelling with powerful and whimsical visuals, young readers will feel deeply for and celebrate with this child as he finds himself burgeoning like a seed upon this beautiful soil called America. A must 'read.' What a triumph." - Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Colors of the Mountain

July 15, 2013

Awards

Kirkus Reviews

Best Children's Books of 2013

November 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews

Best Picture Books About Family & Friends of 2013

November 1, 2013

Children’s Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education

2014 Best Children's Books of the Year

March 1, 2014

A Fuse #8 Production blog, School Library Journal

100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2013

December 1, 2013

Comic-Con International

2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominee

April 1, 2014

ForeWord Reviews

2013 IndieFab Book of the Year Award, GOLD Winner for Picture Books

June 1, 2014

Family Magazine Group

2014 Family Choice Awards Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise and traffic of a busy American city. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games and gestures are puzzling. The boy clings tightl

August 1, 2014

Tillywig Toy & Media Awards

2014 Tillywig Brainchild Award Here I Am is a marvelous collaboration between Patti Kim, its author, and Sonia Sanchez, the artist. This hardcover book contains no text. Through images alone it tells a story deeply expressive of the complex and varied

September 1, 2014

National Parenting Publications

2014 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA)

September 1, 2014

Huffington Post Books

Best Picture Books of 2014, Honorable Mention

December 1, 2014

New York Public Library

Kids K-5 Summer Reading 2015 Booklist A boy moves from his much loved home to a new country and learns to try new things.

May 1, 2015

Patti Kim

Patti Kim

Patti Kim was born in Busan, Korea. Raised in Maryland on both sides of the tracks. Author of A Cab Called Reliable and Here I Am. Married with kids, but can’t stop writing about her childhood.

Go to the Author’s Page →

 
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