There are three picture books that have come out in the past six months or so that have mattered so, so much. This is one of them. (The other two are LOVE by Matt de la Pena and LIFE by Cynthia Rylant.)
Here We Are is welcome guide for anyone just arriving at our planet. Maybe they came in a spaceship and maybe they have only been alive for a few hours, a few months or a year or two. Where are they? What will they discover? What treasures await them?
The journey begins in the Solar System so we can orient ourselves. There we sit out there with Jupiter and Mars and the other solar spheres. Zoom in a bit closer and you see that Earth is home to a lot of differences. We have land and we have sea. We have dry and hot, pointy and bumpy, wet and cold. Look up and look down and you'll go a bit deeper and discover all sorts of plants and animals. You'll even discover people with all of their bits. You might even find you are a person.
Will everyone look and sound like you? Most likely not. You won't be able to speak to the animals but you can admire them.
There will be day and there will be night. There will be differences and sameness. We are all living in the same world on the same planet. We all have the animals to look at and admire. We all know Jupiter is out there somewhere..some know better than others just where it is. We all need to eat and drink and stay warm and dry.
With the over 7 billion and counting people living here, you will always have someone to turn to, to ask, to share with. This is a book written by a father to a son and to the sons and daughters of parents all over the globe.
Oliver Jeffers adds "There are only three words you need to live by, son: respect consideration and tolerance."
A gorgeous, approachable, uplifting, encouraging, reassuring book written with a slight nudge of a challenge to all of us to take care of our planet and to take care of our children... wherever they live.
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
#1 New York Times bestseller A TIME Magazine Best Book of the Year A NPR Best Book of 2017 A Boston Globe Best Book of 2017
"Moments of human intimacy jostle with scenes that inspire cosmic awe, and the broad diversity of Jeffers's candy-colored humans...underscores the twin messages that 'You're never alone on Earth' and that we're all in this together."--Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"A true work of art."--BuzzFeed
Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child--and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home.
Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.--from the publisher