Monday, August 9, 2010

Home is where …

It often seems that it’s not until we are about to lose something that we realize how precious it is – like where you live.

I Know Here by Laurel Croza (823 C8862I PIC BK) is about a little girl who is moving from a small rural community in northeastern Saskatchewan to the big city of Toronto – away from the place she knows best in all the world.  She’s leaving it all behind, from the road that leads between the dam her father is working on and her school, the number of trailers that line this road, the forest that backs onto her house, the best spot to catch frogs or toboggan in the winter,.

She contrasts this to what is to come in Toronto, where everything will be unfamiliar.  Then with the help of Miss Hendrickson her school teacher, she captures the essence of her home and what she loves best in a picture that includes, “the howl of the wolf and the smell of the fox in his cage and the stare of the old moose and the feel of my heart beating fast as I swoop over my road in a five-seater airplane” knowing this home will not be forgotten provides a sense of comfort and reassurance.

I admit that the first time I looked at this book I didn’t really take to the illustrations.  The story was fine but the style of the pictures just didn’t do it for me. But when a favorite instructor in the MT program really raved about it, I thought I’d better take a second look.  Glad I did.

I recommend I Know Here to elementary grades because it connects easily with the Alberta social studies curriculum around community, home, identity, geographical thinking and even resiliency.  Knowing that you can always hold what is dear to you, however far away you may be, will reassure children moving into new situations, whether it’s a new city or new classroom.


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