Laurel Croza and Matt James
Groundwood, 2010. Unpaged. Picture Book.
From Canada comes this lovely title, winner of the 2010 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award for the best picture book of the year. When the little girl who is the narrator of the story finds out her family will be moving to Toronto from their forest home, she is worried because "This is where I live. I don't know Toronto. I know here." What she knows about "here" is beautifully told and illustrated in the remainder of the story: She knows the "squishy spot by the beaver dam" where her sister catches frogs. She knows the sound of wolves howling in the forest, and "the gravel jumping up and dancing under the tires" as the grocery man drives his truck up the lane. She knows the trailers of her neighbors who have worked with her father on the dam, which will soon be finished. When her teacher asks each child in their small school to draw a picture of what they would like to remember about this place, she draws what she knows and sees along her road in the forest. Then she folds it up to take with her to Toronto. Pictures and text work beautifully together to tell the universal tale of building one home, then leaving it for another. Highly recommended.