Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Here I Am by Patti Kim

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. 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.
For ages 5-9.
*Wordless picture book that follows a child's "immigration journey" to the United States
*Deals with the emotions of acclimating to a new community and way of life
About the Author:
Patti Kim was born in Pusan, Korea, and immigrated to the United States on Christmas of 1974 with her mother, father, and older sister. At the age of five, she thought she was a writer and scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mother’s Korean-English dictionary and got in big trouble for it. Her scribbling eventually paid off. She earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Maryland. She is the author of A Cab Called
Reliable. She lives with her husband and two daughters who give her plenty to write about every day. This is her first children’s book.
About the Illustrator:
Sonia S├ínchez lives with her husband and a sleepy-head cat in a blue house near the Mediterranean Sea. She paints with both traditional and digital brushes and likes a lot of texture in her work. She loves children’s
books and her favorite illustrators are Quentin Blake and Fiep Westendorp. Sonia studied illustration at Pau Gargallo’s Arts and Design School of Badalona in Spain. Her illustrations have been published abroad in books, magazines, on graphic posters, and textile designs for clothing.

Most of the wordless picture books I've found on NetGalley were quite good so I decided to give this one a try.

In Here I Am, a young boy arrives in America and has a hard time fitting in. All the while, he finds comfort in a seed he has brought from home.

The story is something that a lot of young immigrants may find relate-able. It's not easy being in a new place, especially if you're young and not really open to changes. The resolution of the story was unexpected, but still a nice surprise overall.

The illustration style is a little unusual in that the layout isn't consistent. That is, It's not always one panel per page, and the panels can be different sizes and in different areas of the page. The style and the coloring is a little bit anime-like as well.

Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers for the e-ARC. Publication date of Here I Am is on September 2, 2013.


  1. Kids who are new to a place will find this relate-able.
  2. The illustration style and layout is not your typical children's book style.
  3. It has a nice message.


  1. The illustration style might not appeal to all.

I hope it encourages you to live out your own story of arriving to that place where you can say, "Here I am."

  1. Your family is moving to a new place.
  2. Your child is having trouble adjusting to a new place or situation.
  3. You've moved to a new place at least once in your life.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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