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
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".
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is the award-winning author of several books for young readers including The Glory Wind, Counting Down from Nine, Tumbleweed Skies, Driftwood and Rain Shadow. She lives in New Brunswick.
has a bachelor degree in graphic design, but never was a graphic designer because she fell in love with illustration. She likes to mix mediums as watercolor, pastels and charcoal to create poetic and sensitive worlds. Isabelle was born in the north of Quebec, between gold mines and lakes, in Val d'Or city. She is the illustrator of more than a dozen children's books and makes her home in Montreal with her family.
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"Malenfant's wild and sprawling mixed-media images are a fine match for Sherrard's text, and the book's simple, all-ages message will have wide appeal for parents and children alike."
"A powerful work about interpretation and how truly imperative it is to both allow children the freedom of expression and to praise their individual talents."
— School Library Journal
"Down Here is a fantastic story about the power of imagination and the importance of seeing things from a different perspective. . . Down Here is a positive and inclusive read for both children and adults, highlighting the wonder of imagination and the importance of looking at the world from different points of view.
— CM Magazine
"Montreal illustrator Isabelle Malenfant's sensitive use of watercolour, pastels and charcoal makes it all come alive."
— Waterloo Region Record
"This is a pleasing tale that will charm young readers and possibly give the grown-ups in their lives pause for thought. [...] A lovely book to savour and to share."
— Atlantic Books Today
"A beautifully illustrated book about seeing things from a different view, and trying to understand the perspective of others."
"Down Here, by Valerie Sherrard, is a sweet story that might manage to defuse a few of those heated time- to-clean-up encounters. A book with an important reminder that sometimes the most difficult problems can be solved by looking at things from a different perspective."
— Montreal Review of Books
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Rainforest of Reading nominee
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Two interior spreads from Down Here:
I can build a castle where knights slay DRAGONS,
or tame them to roast marshmallows.
Who put this pile of junk here?