NOW THAT I'M HERE by Aaron Meshon


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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A mixed-race child reflects on how much better Mom's and Dad’s lives are “now that I’m here.”

The irrepressible (“HA! HA! HA!”) narrator of this story—a dark-haired, pink-skinned, wide-eyed child—paints a vivid picture of daily life then and now. Readers will appreciate the stark contrasts drawn in two-page spreads (see: Mom and Dad sleeping peacefully with a rotund gray pug; now see: Mom, Dad, and dog fighting for space in a rumpled bed awash with toys, a gleeful child draped over them all). Meshon’s use of color, juxtaposing blues and greens for life then and reds and oranges for life now, further conveys the drastic changes wrought by the child. Bold, hand-lettered, capitalized text adds clarity and humor. It doesn’t always work: It may not be entirely clear to readers why Mom and Dad no longer buy lunch (but their bento boxes do look “way better”!), and some of the pre-child pages still feel a bit busy. The chaotic love and joy of this family shine through, though, and the depiction of the family’s blended culture is natural and seamless. Dad, with pale skin, light brown hair, and his croissant, espresso, and spaghetti, reads as white; Mom, with light skin, black hair, and her natto, matcha, and ramen, appears to be Japanese.

An exuberant celebration of family. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 24th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2936-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2018


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