Here I am – Asia to the USA – Patti Kim and Sonia Sánchez

Here I am

Why a booktrail?

A beautiful story told in pictures about a young child who moves from Asia (we think Korea as this is where the author is from) to USA and tries to find his feet.


How do you make a new country feel like home?

A young boy moves with his family from his homeland to New York City and for such a young child the move is overwhelming – everything is bigger,noisier and very very different.

Simple things such as how does he get to school are tricky and so he starts to feel alone and afraid. All he has in the world is  a little seed that he carries around in his pocket which make him feel safe and reminds him of happier times.

But one day he drops the seed..

Place and setting

A big big journey for a small small boy
A big big journey for a small small boy

Whether you are a child or an adult, if you have moved from one country to another this book (all in pictures) will resonate with you. It’s a poignant story of the confusion of a small boy in a new and scary world.

If ever the saying ‘ A picture says a thousands words’ as true, then this is the book to prove that is true. Each and every line in the drawing seems to have been considered with such grace and skill that the feelings of loneliness and overwhelming confusion are imbued in every stroke of the pen and brush.

Patti Kim herself emigrated from Korea to America when she was a child and this is explained at the back of the book. How lovely to have told this story in book form and to have given this as a gift to new readers young and old.

For those of us with experience of even living in a country for a short period, many of the emotions in the book will resonate, not least the boy’s expressions and sense of loss. The joys of the new world coupled with the confusion of it is neatly tied up here in stunning illustrations.

Ever felt the joy of a whole new world but then felt sad and confused when you can’t do even the simplest thing such as ordering a coffee as you don’t know the language or how to go about it? Think of this little boy who doesn’t understand the signs or the way on his way to school. The seed he has in his pocket is his way of holding on to some degree of certainty – a security blanket

Bookish musings

This book has no words but it brought me to tears – the fear and loneliness in that little boys face was very sad to see. The signås which appear gibberish at first soon become clearer and it was then that I started to cheer for the little guy as he becomes more confident in his new world.

This book is like a song which gets into your head and never lets go. Ever since I read it, it comes back to me and I see the boy in my mind and he has stayed with me ever since. I wanted to hug him and tell him that everything would be alright on many occasions and I would have done if it had been possible.

The book is so subtle that people who have moved countries will think the book speaks to them in ways that it does no one else. Its the small things that are weird in any new country – the everyday that you take for granted, the shock you feel when things are not the same.

.The illustrations are simply stunning and the layout which is decorative and not just left to right adds to the way in which  the boys thoughts are not clear cut. The story and pictures together pack quite a punch.

For old and young, this book is really a charming and poignant look at the immigration experience through the eyes of a child.

One thought on “Here I am – Asia to the USA – Patti Kim and Sonia Sánchez

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