Review of Here We Come! by Janna Matthies and Christine Davenier

Here We Come!

written by Janna Matthies
illustrated by Christine Davenier

Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster), 2022. 40 pages.
Review written May 26, 2022, from a library book
Starred Review

Okay, I just recently got news that I landed my dream job of Youth Materials Selector for my library system — and this is the first picture book I’ve read since that news that makes me sad I’ll no longer be doing storytimes. (I anticipate lots of picture books like that in the future.) However, the good news is that I have one last storytime next week, and this book is going to be featured. *Update* – the day I’m posting this is the same day I did my last storytime ever – and used this book.

Here We Come! has the kind of rhythm and rhymes that beg to be read aloud. The illustrations portray a joyful fantasy parade at night.

It starts with a boy heading out the door on a moonlit night playing a musical pipe with his teddy bear marching behind him.

The only line on that first spread is:

Here we come with a rum-pum-pum

When we turn the page, we see a dog peeking out of its doghouse with the teddy bear beckoning. The caption is:

Wanna come?

From there, we’ve got a parade and a cumulative rhyme going. Next is “a pick and a strum.” Then “Little Lu on her thumb with a swish-swish bum.” And so on. After each new line is added, we see another creature ready to join and the question, “Wanna come?”

The action is reminiscent of the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, because we do have something that prompts the group to run back home — in this case, it’s rain and thunder. But instead of going right to bed, there’s a nice meditative bit at the end that continues to rhyme and finishes up with “Here we come!”

This book is almost impossible to read silently as the rollicking rhymes bring out the joyful exuberance of the illustrations. Although I’m going to use it in Baby Storytime, I think the ideal audience would be toddlers, who would surely start marching around the room. Check it out and read it with a child.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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