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You Belong Here

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  127 reviews
The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Compendium Inc (first published 2016)
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  559 ratings  ·  127 reviews


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Hilary
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for a reassuring bedtime story with beautiful pictures.
Recommended to Hilary by: Requested library buys
The story opens with a night time scene of houses, a white space for you to 'think' your house into and then moves to different creatures with their young, each in their own particular habitat. Elizabeth Arsenault's illustrations are wonderful as always. The images are soft and subtle, like scenes viewed through mist or hazy memory, and each page is beautifully composed. In this story the animals are all white, their surroundings are faintly coloured, this makes sense later when a pair of hands ...more
David Schaafsma
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The stars belong in the deep night sky
and the moon belongs there too,
and the winds belong in each place they blow by
and I belong with you.

And later:

And you belong where you love to be,
and after each day is through,
you will always belong right next to me
and I'll belong next to you.

And again:

And you are a dream that the world once dreamt
and now you are part of its song,
That's why you are here, in the place where you're meant,
for this is right where you belong.

Continuing on my brave Isabelle Arsena
...more
Trish
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful little book about love. It's a parent telling their child(ren) about the world, about animals and nature in general, introducing certain species and their habitats and simultaneously using that to emphasize their love for the child(ren).


The simple rhymes are accompanied by wonderful illustrations in mild earthly tones that have some highlights here and there.


I'm really happy to have added this to my collection of children's books as I think this should become one of the class
...more
Amanda
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seriously the most beautiful picture book I have ever read/looked at.
Shannon
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely in my top five all time favorite children's picture books. If you have a child (young or old) buy this book for them. If you have a grandchild, buy this book. If you are looking for a great gift for expectant parents, buy this book. If you have no children but like to read to your pets, buy this book. ;-) The pictures are worthy of being hung as fine art and the poetry will mist your eyes. It is that good.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 00-pre-k, favorites
I love this simple, well-written poem of "belonging," comparing the way so many animals live and work within their unique environments to the way a child belongs with their parent. This will make a great birthday present for my 3-year-old...
Nick Swarbrick
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Arsenault’s dreamy - almost ghost-like - illustrations deliberately bring this into the lullaby genre, and Clark’s text (“You are a dream that the world once dreamt”) leads the same way. However, the similarities with Rice’s winning “Goodnight Goodnight” and other books like this should not overshadow the other, really positive aspects to this book. Belonging (and it is a theme that dominates my personal worldview) is intelligently presented in text and image: the depth of field in the final (ur ...more
Monica
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best line -'And no matter what places you travel to, what wonders you choose to see, I will always belong right here with you, and you'll always belong with me.'
Deborah
Sep 21, 2016 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
I have to see any book illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault! Beautiful, as usual.
Helen
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of any age.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This is a charming children's book with sparse, poetic, text by M.H. Clark and wonderful tonal illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault.

The overall effect is wonderfully soothing and reassuring. A child listening to the book would hear & see the message repeated that just as living creatures in nature belong in the forest etc., so the child belongs with her family. A really excellent book to read to a child, which a child would no doubt cherish as well.

The key text - also on the back cover of t
...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Beautiful illustrations paired with a sentimental text, this is a book for parents or grandparents to read to children. Some of the font choices make it clear that this is a book for adults to read with a couple pages being in a script font. The illustrations feature this use of negative space style like what you see on the cover. It's pretty and a bit sappy, so one of those quiet bedtime books. It is a very pretty book, so even though I usually find sentimental picture books a bit grating, I ac ...more
RJ
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, storytime
A soothing, snuggly read-aloud about the feeling of home, with illustrations from always-incredible Isabelle Aresenault.

I did not pick this one up because there is an otter in it but I would have if I knew there was an otter in it; +10 points for otters
Ellis Balague
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful book.
Meaghan Steeves
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just have to treat this as a graphic novel with poetry. It's beautiful, relatable, and I love the rhymes and imagery. It's now my mission to collect the works of Isabelle Arsenault.
Stephanie
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Five star illustrations, but I thought some of the text was awkward and “You are a dream the world once dreamt.” sounds nice, but is weird.
Jamie
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful book. It is beautifully written and illustrated. So simple, so full of nature and so moving. A place to return to again and again.
Tasha
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This poetic picture book celebrates both nature and the child themselves. The book opens with the text talking right to the child, telling them that just as the moon and stars belong so do they belong right with the person reading the book. It then moves on to talk about different animals and how they belong too either deep in the sea, in the woods, or in a nest. Then the book returns to the child and it continues to move back and forth between nature and child, demonstrating how much that child ...more
Kim Bell
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On my short list for Mock Caldecott! This book is amazing. I'll have to write more later, but seriously, this is a lovely, lovely book.

Okay, I'm back! Here goes...

Have you ever had a children's picture book make you cry because it was just so beautifully perfect in every way? Seriously. If you have children, and you love them, and you read them beautiful books, run out and get this book immediately! This beautiful work by M.H. Clark is an absolute gem. It pushes all the right buttons, it gives y
...more
Mathew
I will pick up and enjoy anything Arsenault illustrates, her use of colour to depict shades of the natural world are constructed with such spiritual depth that I cannot compare her to any other illustrator bar, perhaps, Alexis Deacon.

In You Belong Here, M.H.Clark’s lullaby sings of our connection to the natural world, no matter how far away from it we are. The dual address of the world beyond and then the beautiful, cursive handwriting which addresses the reader is so well done – a lyrical symm
...more
Jennifer Strong
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2016
A rhyming poem winds itself through the lovely pictures in this sweet book. Each creature belongs right where it is just as the child belongs next to their parent. "And you belong where you love to be, and after each day is through, you will always belong right next to me and I'll belong next to you."

Such a sweet gentle book! It's written as a narration- parent to child. The art is done with muted greys and whites with bits of red or blue. I think this is a reassuring read, something a child wo
...more
Jackie Ostrowicki
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eva-and-me
One of the most wonderful children's books I have ever seen. Both the illustrations and the poetry are lyrical and lovely. I read this to my 6 year old every night for a week--alas, we had to return it to the library. I will be getting a copy for our family.

An great example of the writing is the opening spread:

"The stars belong in the deep night sky
and the moon belongs there too,
and the winds being in each place they blow by,
and I belong here with you."

The storyline goes back and forth betwe
...more
Anna
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prek-books
I didn't expect to like this book for some reason, but I actually really liked it. The illustrations are beautiful which is why I picked this book up and the story is really sweet. I feel like it's more of a poem and it's wonderful. It's about a sense of belonging and where things belong. I couldn't tell if the author was talking about a significant other or their child throughout the book, but in the end I realized it must be up to the reader who the author is talking about. To me, I kept think ...more
Jane
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: belonging
I came upon this book via BrainPickings - I’ve come across many of the children’s books I’ve read via BrainPickings in fact.

This is beautifully illustrated. And the poem that is being illustrated is beautiful as well. It speaks of love, and belonging. But it seems to speak of belonging to one place only, and I find that a challenging concept. We may have to leave places behind. People will leave us behind. I feel we need to grow up knowing that we belong to something bigger, wider, more everlas
...more
Erin Lutz
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my personal favorite baby/children's book of all time. I would give it 10 stars if I could. This is saying a lot as I compulsively hoard children's books. The gentle rhyme is perfection, the message so sweet and tender, I can't even try to read this book without crying. It is just stunning. And the illustrations are second to none. This review does the book no justice but honestly, I have given this as a gift countless times since I discovered it. Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful. Buy it.
Thabata
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Poetry in words and images became this little gem. Heartwarming throughout its pages, there is not an instant where it did not made my heart skip a beat. Beautifully illustrated it has in its subdued colours, in its contrast of light and dark, in the varying style of drawing, water-colour and collage an enchanting personality all of its own. The words pour from ones lips as a love note calm and serene, it is both timeless and ageless. I am completely in love with this book.
Shauna McKinstry
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a beautiful and captivating as I thought it would be. The story talks about animals homes and where they belong. The story also reiterates that the child is right where they belong. The illustrations were so beautiful, it felt as though I was in a museum. The colors are all very neutral, and the animals are all white against their background. Usually I am not a big fan of these "plain" illustrations for kids, but somehow, they worked perfectly here.
Christina
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was given to us before the birth of our first child. It is a gorgeous book. The rhythm of the text is lyrical and soothing; we usually read it before naptime. I have sought out other books illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault because I adore her artwork. Some of MH Clark's other books are more suitable for older children so as our child grows I'll sure we'll get those too.
Maren
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one hit us right in the feels!! The cursive text is a poem... the serif font kind of ties it together with animals and where they belong. I didn't need the animals part... in fact when it finished, we went back and read only the pages with cursive to make a cohesive poem. It was the perfect note to end our evening on.
Elvia
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would be a wonderful resource when teaching poetry. It would be appropriate to share from the point of view of a parent writing to a child, but if treated as romantic love, it may not be appropriate for younger grades. The illustrations are dream-like and lovely.
Rhea
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddos
Certain to become a mommy's favorite classic. The beautiful poem and the beautiful illustrations... it's perfect to read to your baby in the belly, and your baby out of the belly, and your toddler, and your littles... and to yourself.
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