Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers: a father’s notes for living on Planet Earth dedicated to his firstborn son

Oliver Jeffers, Here We Are

Published 2017 by HarperCollins, 44p

Bringing home from hospital his new born son, Oliver Jeffers realized he should not only give a tour of the apartment to the new member of the family but introduce to him the whole world he was going to step and live into.

Thus Here We Are became Jeffers’s most personal picture book, a collection of notes meant to explain to Harland, his little boy, how things work on “the big globe, floating in space, on which we live”.

Tenderly he takes us into a tour that begins in the space, continues with a presentation of the land and the seas of our planet, to get to the people that populate Earth who might look different but who are actually very similar, with a heart to pump blood, a brain to think and bones to hold everything together.

People come in many shapes, sizes and colours. We may look different, act different and sound different… but don’t be fooled, we are all people.

SolarSystem

LandAndSea

Animals

Still holding his son, a small, bright cocoon, once the journey comes to the end, Jeffers advises him to be kind, as there is enough space for everyone and to treasure our planet, “as it’s all we’ve got”.

Here We Are is a beautiful example of how parenting can make people aware of everything around, of how perspectives change and enormous enthusiasm and responsibility make parents want to embrace the world and offer it to their children.

Complement Here We Are with Jeffers’s This Moose Belongs to Me, a funny story about ownership and then see his inventive alphabet book.

Copyright illustrations: Oliver Jeffers
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