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I'm Here    by Peter Reynolds order for
I'm Here
by Peter Reynolds
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Ever feel you aren't connecting with others? That's the dilemma facing the little boy in this picture book. As he sits watching other children the boy thinks, 'They are there. I am here.'

Although he enjoys the gentle wind patting his head, there's still a sense of loneliness here. Then something magical happens, 'Sailing paper glides from the air to me! White rectangle. How did you find me?'

The child then fashions a paper airplane from the sheet of paper and he rides it into the sky. As the boy sails over the playground, he loudly shouts, 'I'm here!' And when he nears the ground, the children grab his airplane and send it aloft again.

When this flight of fancy finally ends, the paper airplane glides back to Earth. 'Gliding across the sandy lot, it stops, and is noticed by someone. Someone else ... who picks up the airplane. She brings it to me,' says the little boy.

With the plane's return to the boy, he finds he isn't alone any more. He now has a new friend, thanks to the flight of the airplane which brought the two together.

This clever story illustrates with simple drawings how a little child finds a way to bridge the distance between himself and another person. It might be a fanciful flight, but there's a subtle message here too about how people are pulled together and eventually form a connection.

A winsome story for children between the ages of four and eight, this book may have even a greater impact on an older audience who can read a little more into the sparse text.

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