Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Why Am I Here?

Why Am I Here?

Spring 2017 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5477-3
Hardcover Price: $16.00

A collaboration between children's author Constance Orbeck-Nilssen and illustrator Akin Duzakin has resulted in an unusually soulful picture book warmed by empathy and heart. It opens with a little boy on a rock in the sea (his lemur companion and a tethered row boat nearby), who questions why he is where he is and asks what it would be like to be "somewhere completely different." Would he be different, too? The scenes shift from page to page with the boy's imaginings and Duzakin's visual approach is a subtle mix of soft textures and compelling details as the boy wonders what it would be like to live in perpetual winter or in the hot, sandy desert; to be a refugee from war or natural disaster, to live alone, to be a child working from dawn to dusk. One especially striking image pictures the boy standing in his boat in a forest threaded with trail-like rivers, a place "so quiet that everything seemed to be holding its breath."

Lynne Heffley   ©2017 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

Look for this product at:
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Share This