Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Here We All Are

Here We All Are

Tomie de Paola
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Penguin Putnum, 2001   ISBN: 978-0698119093

For little Tomie, life is just about as exciting as it can get, or so he thinks. His family has just moved into their new house. He has never lived in a house before and the whole experience delights him. He loves being able to run up and down the stairs. He loves having all the space and having so many new things to look at.

Then Tomie's mother gives him some news which adds to the excitement in the air. His mother is going to have a baby and he, Tomie, is going to be a big brother! More than anything Tomie hopes that he is going to have a little sister. He already has a brother and feels that one brother is quite enough. A sister would balance things out very nicely. Of course getting a little brother or sister is not easy and there are problems to overcome. Tomie discovers that he cannot always have things his way, and it is a hard lesson to learn for a small boy.

What is especially enjoyable about the stories in this little book is that they are personal and told from Tomie's point of view. It is very much as if we were there, as if we were watching what was happening through Tomie's eyes. We experience his days as school, and we get that first hint of what is to become Tomie's vocation in later life, his art.

The author's meticulous attention to detail and remarkable memory for the "small" events in his childhood makes this chapter book a delight to read. We cannot help smiling when he tells us about the time when he licked his bedroom furniture to see if it tasted like maple syrup after he heard his mother saying that the wood was "genuine maple." These are the kinds of things we would have done as children though we might not like to admit it. "Here We All Are" is the second book in a series of chapter books about Tomie DePaola?s childhood.