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.
Collier's crisp, complex illustrations add light to Newbery Award winner MacLachlan's open letter to a grandchild who lives in Africa. The child's visits are rare, and his sunny surroundings contrast with her cold winters. MacLachlan rehearses facts his parents have told her about him ("Now you like every single book about the moon you love the moon") and ponders ways to keep their bond strong ("I sing the songs I sang to you every night./ I sing them/ so I will remember you,/ hoping that you will remember me too"). Photographic elements fabrics, textures, people within Collier's collages enhance the impact of his realistic portraits. 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. Ages 4 8.