Fitzhenry & Whiteside
By Valerie Sherrard, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Synopsis from Fitzhenry & Whiteside:
After all, it’s all in how you look at things! Jamie doesn’t have the same talents as other members of their family. They can draw and tell scary stories. But Jamie can build things and create new worlds — mazes, rocket ships, roller coasters, and secret hiding places! But all Mom can see is chaos and a mess that needs to be cleaned up. She just doesn’t appreciate all that hard work! When Jamie tries to see things from Mom’s perspective — well, Jamie starts to understand. From the top of the table things look like Mom sees them and it really does look a bit messy. But if Mom can be convinced to come down to Jamie’s level and see things that way then she will understand the amazing and imaginative world “down here.
As parents we are often challenged with looking at things from a child’s perspective, both literally as well as figuratively. Down Here invites both parent and child to understand the other’s point of view. It reminds us too that each of our kids have a special talent even if it doesn’t seem that obvious to us up front.
From the point of view of the youngest child in a family, we are shown that his siblings both had talents admired by their mother yet his talent, one he is proud of, is viewed as anything but a talent. The visuals do a great job translating the boy’s world compared to what appears before his mother eyes.
Down Here is about perspective, how we view our kids versus how they view themselves as well putting yourself in someone’s shoes. Try getting down at your child’s level to understand their point of view.