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Here I Am
Here I Am
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Reviewed Titles

Here I Am

by Patti Kim
Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games and gestures are puzzling. The boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident child he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps towards discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.  

PublisherCurious Fox
Age Level6-8 Years
Trim Size (mm)226 x 279
Page Count40
LanguagesBritish English
Publication DateFebruary 2015



NetGalley Review - Alanna Shaw

"Another wordless wonder. There is no text in Here I Am, so the reader is left to imagine the story. The illustrations are reminiscent of watercolor drawings; very fluid. . . .I think there is still plenty of opportunity to have an open dialogue about experiencing new things and being scared of change. All kids can relate to that on some level." - NetGalley Review

May 30, 2013

NetGalley Review - Colleen Pon

"I enjoyed piecing the story together from this picture book." - NetGalley Review

May 28, 2013

Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Colors of the Mountain

"...a marvelous picture book, a motile encapsulation of the turbulent world of a child uprooted from a faraway land, the confusion and sadness of his strange new world. Strongly compelling with powerful and whimsical visuals, young readers will feel deeply for and celebrate with this child as he finds himself burgeoning like a seed upon this beautiful soil called America. A must 'read.' What a triumph." - Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Colors of the Mountain

July 15, 2013


Eugenia Kim, award-winning author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter

"Vivid illustrations depict a touching wordless story of surprising depth. . . .The universal tale of the irony of loss that leads to acceptance and growth is portrayed with a rich, yet simple, sequence of lively visuals. This is a charming and meaningful book I wish I’d had when my son was young." - Eugenia Kim, award-winning author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter

July 15, 2013

NetGalley Review - Susan Lareau

"Wonderful illustrations for a one on one setting. These illustrations are detailed and need to be studied. I could see students writing a story line of their own, or using this story as a jumping off point for immigration and how a child must feel moving to a new country." - NetGalley Review

July 23, 2013

NetGalley Review - Beth Dobson

"Great wordless book that invites the reader to experience what it is like to move to a new country for the first time. Would be good for children just moving into a new place (or country!) and could also be paired with other immigrant experiences...Highly recommended." - NetGalley Review

July 10, 2013


NetGalley Review - Amy Arespe

"In a classroom, this could be used as a writing activity (write your own words to explain what is happening) or for predicting or inferencing while reading. Newcomer students from various cultures might appreciate the universality of the immigrant experience." - NetGalley Review

July 3, 2013

Second Bookshelf on the Right blog - Mai

"The story is something that a lot of young immigrants may find relate-able. It's not easy being in a new place, especially if you're young and not really open to changes. The resolution of the story was unexpected, but still a nice surprise overall." - Second Bookshelf on the Right blog

June 10, 2013

Sare-Endipity blog - Sarah Washkoviak

"Words aren't needed, as the beautiful illustrations convey all the noise and confusion into which the little boy and his family fly. Using non-linear progression and beautiful mixed media, Here I Am shows us a boy's journey to a new land, new language, and new friends. . . .With its beautiful illustrations, and universal message, I would recommend this book to everyone." - Sare-Endipity blog

August 13, 2013


The Lemon-Squash Book Club blog

"...a lovely, contemplative story. The images do a wonderful job of helping the reader to feel the strangeness of a new place for themselves, in particular through the spoken and written language that surrounds the boy, depicted in “bla-bla-blas” and mingled letters and symbols from a variety of alphabets. The book is as valuable for young readers welcoming new immigrants into their classroom or community as for new immigrants themselves, with its focus on understanding, courage, and finding universal means of communication." - The Lemon-Squash Book Club blog

August 27, 2013

Capitol Choices - Edie Ching

"A poetic look at the immigration experience. . . .the emotions that come through loud and clear are genuine for everyone. A book to provoke discussion or just quiet reflection about being an outsider." - Capitol Choices

August 15, 2013

NetGalley Review - Kristin Fontichiaro

"There can be a seductive beauty to wordless picture books, especially those with nuanced watercolors and delicate lines. . . .Such is the case of this wordless tale. . . .Highly recommended." - NetGalley Review

July 24, 2013


A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall blog

" moved me to tears. The concept of portraying a child's experience of moving to a foreign land is brilliantly executed." - A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall blog

August 3, 2013

NetGalley Review - Jay Johns

"With no text, a picture really does tell a thousand words in this book. . . .A great book to share with your children when moving to a new place!" - NetGalley Review

June 29, 2013

Texas Library Lady...Reading Through Life blog

"I would recommend this wordless picture book for all levels of libraries in my school district. It is a beautifully illustrated story…" - Texas Library Lady...Reading Through Life blog

June 24, 2013


Inside This Book blog - Lynn

"This wordless picture book follows the boy through his first months in his new home - full of new sounds, sights, and a language he doesn't understand. His isolation is apparent in the pencil and watercolor sketches. As is his journey into acceptance and love in his new home!" - Inside This Book blog

June 24, 2013

Biblioteka Reviews blog

"Lovely, lovely book. No text, but none is needed, and the absence of text fits with the story theme." - Biblioteka Reviews blog

June 15, 2013

NetGalley Review - Angie Bayne

"I really enjoyed this semi-autobiographical book. The story is a wonderful one about fitting in to your new surroundings. I thought the illustrations were beautiful and really told the story." - NetGalley Review

June 14, 2013


Notes from the Portable blog - Jessica Zannini

"If you are looking for a book to use with ESOL students and struggling writers then this is the book for you." - Notes from the Portable blog

June 10, 2013

NetGalley Review - Terri Broz

"The artful illustrations compose a beautiful wordless tale. This could be used to teach children to make inferences or a story starters for writing lessons." - NetGalley Review

June 8, 2013

NetGalley Review - Emilia Packard

"...a heartening and interesting visual exercise for anyone whose ever felt out of place -- Sonia Sanchez does a great job illustrating the jumbleness of the frustrated, frightened mind, and how beautiful, orderly, and free-flowing things can feel when things start getting better and feeling easier." - NetGalley Review

May 30, 2013


Kirkus Reviews

"STAR REVIEW! Beautiful, evocative pictures tell the story of a boy who comes from an Asian land to a big U.S. city. Images in this virtually wordless, slender graphic novel range from dreamlike curlicues to bold, dark cityscapes and emotional vignettes. . . .Sánchez has captured a kaleidoscope of emotion and powerful sensations in a way children will grasp completely. It’s The Arrival for younger readers." - Kirkus Reviews

August 15, 2013

Shelf Awareness - JoAnn Jonas, children's librarian, freelance book reviewer

"The universal themes in the story speak to a wide audience. Creative use of color, cartoon panels and graphic design make this story of adjusting to a new home a knockout." - Shelf Awareness

September 6, 2013

NetGalley Review - Angela Newton

"My daughter and I had a wonderful time telling this story based on the illustrations. Each time one of us would add to the story, the other of us would notice a detail we missed the first time through." - NetGalley Review

September 3, 2013


The Castle Library blog - Jackie Castle

"Kim really helps a young person understand what it's like to walk in the shoes of a foreigner, along with showing how her story boy overcame his fear and stretched himself to make new friends. I really found this story enchanting and full of learning possibilities." - The Castle Library blog

September 5, 2013

NetGalley Review - Amy Tureen

"...a topic not commonly covered in children's literature and one that badly needs to be covered. The lack of text makes this title acceptable to children (and adults) of all ages and languages." - NetGalley Review

September 14, 2013

Owl Tell You About It blog - Laura

"I just want to praise this book for it’s impact without the use of words. Visual representation can be a strong way to send a message. It’s more memorable and it doesn’t require a translation. . . .The lack of words also made me stop and take the time to look at everything in the pictures. I think that’s something I forget to do sometimes. I needed that reminder to slow down and enjoy my picture books." - Owl Tell You About It blog

September 11, 2013


NetGalley Review - Linda Diekman

"I loved this book. . . .A perfect curriculum connection with immigration units." - NetGalley Review

September 16, 2013

Walking Brain Cells blog

"Beautifully illustrated, this book is one that has intricate images that come together to form a cohesive and powerful whole. A remarkable capturing of the immigrant story, this book will speak to those who are immigrants and will also help others understand what children from other countries are going through. The choice to make it wordless makes it all the more useful with immigrant populations in our communities." - Walking Brain Cells blog

September 10, 2013

Publishers Weekly

"STAR REVIEW! In a nearly wordless picture book, Kim and Sanchez examine the difficulties, adjustments, and eventual triumphs that accompany one boy’s transition from an unspecified Asian nation to New York City with his family. The book’s very wordlessness highlights the boy’s unfamiliarity with English—signs on storefronts read as gibberish; a teacher neatly writes “bla bla bla” on the chalkboard—and Sanchez’s palette veers from the dull tans and grays of the airport to the shocking blue and yellow lights of the city at night with a page turn. . . .For children who have moved to an unfamiliar country or town, it’s a sensitive reminder that they are not alone; for others, it’ll be an eye-opening window into what those kids are going through." - Publishers Weekly

September 30, 2013


Booklist Online - Ben Spanner

"Kim’s tale is well wrought without the use of words and tailor-made for emerging readers, and it’s perfectly matched by Sanchez’s truly wonderful, sprawling art and colors, bringing the city to life in an understated yet warm crescendo. Here I Am is a unique, smart, and welcoming book designed for starting fresh and softening fears." - Booklist Online

September 23, 2013

NetGalley Review - Jaye Thiel

"Wordless picture book at its best!!! . . .I could read it again and again." - NetGalley Review

October 11, 2013

The New York Times - Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

"Patti Kim forgoes text altogether in her winsome “Here I Am”. . . .Kim and Sánchez bring to their lively pages the heightened perceptions of the recently arrived. . . .From the moment he lands at J.F.K., the images vibrate with energy and detail. . . .The boy starts out feeling isolated and unhappy, but then embarks on a solo journey through his neighborhood that culminates in the making of a friend and a newfound sense of belonging." - The New York Times

October 13, 2013


NC Teacher Stuff Blog - Jeff Barger

"This is one of the best books that I have read this year. Here I Am captures the experience of moving to a new country with such heart and warmth, but it is not cloyingly sweet. The illustrations brilliantly show you the cacophony of a new town when you don't know the language and the main character's initial despondency." - NC Teacher Stuff Blog

October 14, 2013

Reading Through Life blog - Crystal Brunelle

"The illustrations do a fantastic job of showing how overwhelming it could be to shift to a new country, but also how stepping out can be difficult, but rewarding. You can feel the emotions throughout the book along with the main character as he rides this roller coaster of change. . . .This is a book that will speak to many." - Reading Through Life blog

October 15, 2013

Story Wraps blog - Marilyn Panton

"They say a picture's worth a thousand words and this little book "Here I Am" certainly proves that theory. Wordless, with beautiful, whimsical, moving pictures the book touches your heart as you feel what it is like to be a brand new immigrant in a brand new country. . . .It will make your children realize they are not alone, that fear can be conquered and that change can be a very positive thing indeed." - Story Wraps blog

October 4, 2013


Just One More Chapter blog

"...this book has unlimited possibilities for stories. . . .it gives the reader the option to make up their own story based on the images on the pages." - Just One More Chapter blog

October 9, 2013

NetGalley Review - Suzanne Costner, Librarian

"...invites discussion as readers work their way through what they feel each illustration means. We must pay careful attention to every detail - facial expressions, body language, colors - so that we can understand the flow of the story. Slowly we see the child who is sad at leaving his familiar home come to enjoy his new neighborhood and make friends." - NetGalley Review

September 29, 2013

Never Wear Matching Sox blog - Nanci

"I love wordless picture books because they allow children, and adults, to make up the story as they go along. I have kids tell me all the time, “but I don’t know know how to read” and I tell them that they don’t need to know…just make up a story to go along with the pictures." - Never Wear Matching Sox blog

September 20, 2013


Smart Books for Smart Kids blog - Debbie

"Sonia Sanchez took the wordless narration and interpreted it using a variety of original illustrations. They are bold, completely unique and a pure joy to look at. . . .A good children’s book does more “showing” than “telling,” and Here I am is an ideal example of that. I feel strongly that all children will be able to relate to the challenges the boy in the book faces, even if they have never had to move to a new place themselves." - Smart Books for Smart Kids blog

October 9, 2013

Horn Book Magazine - Robin L. Smith

"Newcomers to any country, and the adults who work with immigrant children and their families, will find a lot to talk about here." - Horn Book Magazine

November 1, 2013

NetGalley Review - Jennifer Bras

"Visually stunning, complex, yet simple at the same time. Every time I read it I see more and feel more." - NetGalley Review

October 25, 2013


Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog - Jules

"Kim tells an emotionally powerful tale here, and Sanchez’s swirling art is spellbinding. She uses color to great effect to convey strong emotions, and she knows just when to let white space let the story breathe precisely where it needs to. . . .It’s an intense story of the myriad complex emotions that come with immigration." - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog

October 29, 2013

Reading and Sharing blog - Destiny

"Often in wordless books, we forget to credit the person who wrote the story, since in the end we only see the illustrations. However, it’s important to give credit where credit is due–in this case to Kim who created a story that would be powerful in any medium. Which is not to say that the art of Sonia Sanchez didn’t elevate the work. To the contrary, it was Sanchez’s ability to capture complex emotions in her art that drew me into the story and kept me engaged." - Reading and Sharing blog

October 16, 2013

NetGalley Review - Anna Kim

"I love that the colors go from monotone in the beginning and begin to get more vibrant as the young boy learns to love his new home." - NetGalley Review

October 30, 2013


Book Dragon blog, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center - Terry Hong

"In a most memorable example of ‘show, don’t tell,’ Kim’s so-worth-the-wait picture book has nary a word in sight. Whimsically captured in artist Sonia Sánchez‘s dazzling panels-in-constant-motion, Here I Am is an exquisite book to be savored again and again…each ‘reading’ promises to reveal yet another delightful, thoughtful detail. . . .a universal story for all." - Book Dragon blog, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

November 6, 2013

NetGalley Review - Gabrielle Spires

"This will definitely be bought because it is charming and sweet and it will be very appreciated. 5/5 Stars" - NetGalley Review

November 18, 2013

Flippin' Pages and Takin' Names blog - Mollie

"A really enjoyable wordless/graphic novel-like book. I would highly recommend for those children brought over when young and still adjusting to the newness of a foreign place. Extremely helpful if they are still learning the local language. Loved it!" - Flippin' Pages and Takin' Names blog

November 19, 2014

Patti Kim

Patti Kim

Patti Kim was born in Pusan, Korea, and immigrated to the United States on Christmas of 1974 with her mother, father, and older sister. At the age of five, she thought she was a writer and scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mother's Korean-English dictionary and got in big trouble for it. Her scribbling eventually paid off. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland. She is the author of A CAB CALLED RELIABLE. She lives with her husband and two daughters who give her plenty to write about every day. This is her first children's book.

Go to the Author’s Page →

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