For many children who live far away from their grandparents, it can be hard to understand why they can't always be together. Patricia MacLachlan has created a bridge to close the distance by finding connections in memories and the moon they share.
A beautiful, lyrical poem coupled with Bryan Collier's rich collages, Here and There celebrates the importance of staying close to your family, even across thousands of miles.
Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb’s Story; Edward’s Eyes; The True Gift; Waiting for the Magic; and White Fur Flying. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Collier's crisp, complex illustrations add light to Newbery Award–winner MacLachlan's open letter to a grandchild who lives in Africa. . . Despite the distance and differences in landscape, text and art shape the story from one of separation into one of connection. Successive spreads make it clear that the grandmother is headed to Africa; in the penultimate painting, she enters the child's room with a wrapped present. While not all children are equally conscious of those who are absent, MacLachlan's distinctive grace and lyricism make this an effective if solemn reminder that they are loved and remembered from afar.
--Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2011
A grandmother who lives in the U.S. prepares to visit her grandson, who lives in Africa. While the moon is common to them both, she points out the many differences in their lives as she reminisces about past times together. When it is cold in one place, it is hot and dry in the other. There is ice-skating where she lives and lake swimming where he lives. Always, though, there is the moon, and as the story comes to a close, grandparent and grandchild are reunited under it. Collier’s vibrant illustrations are a blend of watercolor and his trademark collage. This is a wonderful book to contrast different lifestyles. Pair it with Nigel Gray’s A Country Far Away (Scholastic, 1989) to further illustrate cultural differences and human commonalities.–Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
SLJ, August 2011