"[M]oments of joy, as carried through music, keep [Ivan's family] connected regardless of big life changes."

—Publishers Weekly


"Such an important book"


—Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, MA, for Youth Services Book Reviews

"Strong feelings come through in both the words and the illustrations, a cheerful mix of acrylic paint, pencil, and collage"

—The Horn Book Magazine


"[U]nderlines the possibilities of happiness and security when home life changes"


Mama lives Here

Now Dad lives There.

Are Ivan's homes worlds apart, or just a bird's call away?

Liz Garton Scanlon  "Tamara Ellis Smith does more than tell a lovely, lyrical story — she serves as empathic witness to the love and complexity inherent in growing up in more than one household. It's a work of art but also an act of generosity."
Liz Garton Scanlon, author of Caldecott-honored picture book All The World
Brothers at Bat 

"Tamara Ellis Smith puts her finger directly on the joy and the ache that Ivan's two-home life evokes, with beautiful imagery and an authorial heart that knows a thing or two about childhood longing."
Audrey Vernick, award-winning children's author of Brothers at Bat


"The vibrant and inclusive art reflects modern families. Here and There has a poetic vibe that both grown-ups and kids could appreciate together.” 
—Andrienne Cruz, MLIS, Azusa City Library 


“A valuable resource to educators or parents of a child who is experiencing a family change.”
—Sarah Overaag, Lincoln Elementary School, SD


"Ivan's parents are newly separated, and he is learning how to navigate this new stage of life-- but he can make fun memories both Here and There, with both mom and dad! A sweet and gentle book on understanding and coping with divorce."
—Andrew King, bookseller, University of Washington


Kirkus logo 

"A child with newly separated parents grapples with moving back and forth between their homes. . . Appropriately, this isn't a happily-ever-after story but one that offers affirmation and hope for kids navigating parental separation. . . Needed everywhere."
Kirkus Reviews

  "Here and There is a touching story about living as a child in a divorced family. Being taken out of his comfort zone, his home, makes Ivan feel off-balance. . . Here and There will speak to many kids who split their time between two households. The text uses the concepts of "Here" and "There" to explain Ivan's familiarity and initial discomfort as he learns to navigate between his mother's and father's home. The pencil, acrylic paint, and collage artwork presents multiracial characters with soft, gentle facial features." 
—Rosemary Kiladitis, librarian and blogger
"This is such an important book for children that are living between the homes of two parents. . . It can be a difficult transition and this book might open up some important conversation. Perfect for children between the ages of three and seven [and for] public and elementary school libraries, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and seven." 
Youth Services Book ReviewsKristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA
Maria Gianferrari "A heartwarming message of acceptance and mindfulness, Here and There is not just a divorce story, but a reminder to be present and appreciate those small moments of joy that ground us. From bird song to guitar tune, Here and There hits all the right notes!"
—Maria Gianferrari, children's book author
"With the colorful and imagination rich language of childhood, this book mirrors the experience so deeply felt by children when families change and they must navigate the transition that can feel like stepping between two different worlds. With an authentic voice, this book eloquently demonstrates that one can remain whole even with added parts."
—Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Neill Public Library
"I loved the illustrations […] a very solid book about a kid going through his parent's separating."
—Harris County Public Library Fairbanks Branch


The Healing Library is a project that assists families in their healing journey with specially created kits including picture books, art and play therapy activities, conversation starters, and more. The kits are produced by the combined efforts of a Licensed Social Worker, Librarian and Children's Book Engagement Consultant.

Here and There is at the center of the The Healing Library's kit on Family Separation and Divorce. Through our partnership with The Healing Library, we invite you to download and share these valuable resources. Simply click on each thumbnail image to download.

These resources brought to you by


Bird Song Activity

Journaling Guide

Birdseed Activity

Book Discussion Guide

Identify the songs of birds in your area, like Ivan does in Here and There.

Explore the similarities and differences of your own "Here" and "There" by making, writing and drawing in a personalized journal.

Make a Pocketful of Birdseed and feed the birds of your neighborhood together with a friend or relative.

Start conversations about what Ivan is experiencing and what he may be feeling as you read along to Here and There.

Or download the whole Healing Library Kit: Family Separation and Divorce:


Download Button | Barefoot Books

Healing Kit Thumbnail


This compassionate portrayal of a child with separated parents offers children in similar situations a much-needed mirror, while providing other children a way to empathize with their friends' experiences.


By finding a creative means of coping with a new situation, Ivan demonstrates an open-minded, hopeful willingness to learn and grow that will inspire children to take initiative and to problem-solve.


Ivan's intuitive connection with birds and delight in their songs will reinforce children's curiosity about the natural world and charm budding ornithologists.


Tamara Ellis Smith grew up in a lot of different states. But no matter where she lived, she enjoyed spending time reading in the woods. She studied at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of Another Kind of Hurricane, one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year 2015. She currently resides in Vermont with her husband and four children.

Evelyn Daviddi was born in Capri Modena, Italy. At age seven, she decided to become an artist, and she has done exactly that! She studied at the European Institute of Design in Milan and has illustrated over fifteen books now including Here and There.

Look inside Here and There with the author,
Tamara Ellis Smith!



Here and There 

A young boy, Ivan, experiences the early stages of his parents’ separation and finds hope in the beauty and music of nature. This tale of personal growth will provide a much-needed mirror for children in times of change  and an important reminder for all that there’s beauty everywhere you look.


AGES 3 - 8  | 32PP | 8.5 x 10.8IN

HARDCOVER | 9781782857419 | $16.99 USD
PAPERBACK | 9781782857426 | $8.99 USD


Want to learn more? Request the digital review copy on Edelweiss.

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