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Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  4,680 ratings  ·  862 reviews
Oliver Jeffers offers a personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child--a missive about our world and those who call it home.
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Penguin Young Readers
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,680 ratings  ·  862 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Wondrous and memorable. Here We Are is a must-read for all ages.
SO Sweet! A father’s story explaining his world when his child is 2 months old.

I love this book. It does the macrocosm all the way to the day to day, not quite microcosm. It is powerful to show how small this little planet is in all that space and then when you see all the diversity and wonders on Earth, it really does make this place feel special. I love his art work. Oliver does a fantastic job of showing the Earth and I love the pages with all the different sizes, shapes and colors of people
With the birth of his first child, Jeffers wanted to capture what is important to him with regards to the Earth and how he wants his son to live his life on it. Much like his own father (see the back of the book), Jeffers focuses on the need for kindness and care to the planet and each other and to embrace the fact that we are all different and yet, the same. It's a beautiful story, dotted with some laugh-out-loud humour and little intertextual references to earlier work.
I'm much preferring Jef
Elizabeth A
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-ya, art, 2017
I'm slowly making my way through The 7 Loveliest Children’s Books of 2017 as selected by brainpickings. You can see the list here:

This is the first picture book on the list that I've read ad I liked it. Bringing a child into the world has got to be a life changing thing, especially in the world we inhabit these days. This lovely picture book is written for the author's baby son, introducing him to this planet we all call home. The art is lovely and the me
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this as a gift for my aunt and uncle who are having their first kid. This is so beautiful, I might buy another one for me. I’m trying to keep myself from crying. The perfect book to read to a tiny, new human, but no matter what your age is, this book will make a home in your heart.
Review to come, but in short this is a gorgeous book about our planet and the people who live here, written as an introduction for the youngest members of the human race.

There are some laughs as well as things many parents will be able to relate to, and the overall message that we're all people and we should be kind to one another is something that is too often forgotten in adulthood.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have something in my eye.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tolerance, 2018
Awe inspiring, kind, tolerant, overwhelming, sweet, intimate, cute, funny, tender, philosophical, practical and absolutely beautiful.
Donna Backshall
Simply beautiful. In these times of civil unrest, sometimes a simple book can give us the insight we crave.

"There are only three words you need to live by, son: respect, consideration and tolerance."

This should be mandatory reading for every person on Earth, each morning before they make their way out to face the day. It would get everyone, young and old, in the right frame of mind to face their fellow man and the big world out there, where, we are reminded, no one is ever alone.

Kaethe Douglas
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved
I am charmed. A very good birthday gift to a recently birthed child. It doesn't resemble Mo Willem's instruction manual, but it delighted me just as much.

Library copy
Tyler Barnett
Beautiful book. As the reader, you are invited to fully immerse yourself into the intriguing wonders on Earth and beyond. The voice is calm and kind, with a hint of humour- the perfect balance.

The quotes at the end of the book were insightful into Oliver's life and the wisdom his father gifted to him. He has incorporated this wisdom through the pages in the book, which for me was very powerful:
'There are only three words you need to live by, son: respect, consideration and tolerance'- Oliver's
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Oliver Jeffers / Readers Looking for Picture-Books About Living & Belonging to the World
Shelves: picture-books
Celebrated author/artist Oliver Jeffers, inspired by the birth of his son, presents a picture-book love letter to our planet in this beautiful new book. "Here we are," the narrator informs us, pointing to our blue globe, as it hangs in space. From the land to the sea, from people to animals, all the wonderful, marvelous kinds of creature and thing that go to make up our planet are detailed. So too are various pieces of advice about living in this world of ours, from cherishing the time we have ( ...more
Kimberly Dawn
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Illustrated and written by artist, writer, and father Oliver Jeffers as he lovingly welcomes his child to the world. It appears likely the father has been contemplating both the miracle of life and the miracle of our fragile existence on earth. His awe-inspiring art portrays what he feels is important for his child to know about life. His words are few and message subtle. Planet earth, the starry sky and universe, the land and sea. Humanity in all its shapes, sizes, and colors, land and sea anim ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I decided to read all seven of the books Maria Popova (on twitter) says were the loveliest picture books of 2017:

and this was the seventh, by the always unique and usually quirky Oliver Jeffers. Now it could be that I was hoping this book was actually a book about environmental activism for kids (which wouldn't be fair to judge him for, failing to meet MY expectations for a book about Earth!), but I couldn't figure out its purpose.

So I admit I turned to P
Disappointing, nice artwork and interesting idea - notes for living on planet earth. The opening page looked like the opening scene of the Clangers (we are big fans) and I expected some Clangeresque philosophy on our place in the universe and looking after our planet. After a promising first few pages the story then showed and told us we have a skeleton and internal organs and the next page says The most important things for people to remember are to eat, drink, and stay warm. This is accompan ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read it and immediately bought it for the kids on my Christmas list. Told with Jeffers' signature humor and voice, you can feel his love for his son throughout the pages. The illustrations are incredible and the story is simple and perfect. ...more
Nhi Nguyễn
Another beautiful and amazing picture book from the acclaimed author Oliver Jeffers. I love how this book is a personal message/note to the author's baby son as he will soon take his first steps as a person living on Earth, yet it can be read as an informative journey around Earth and space to other children and the wider public. The illustrations are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! <3 <3 <3 What can I expect, right? It is Oliver Jeffers! ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Add this to your shopping list for any new babies being born, or for holiday/birthday presents for the littlest ones in your life! This is a beautiful piece of art that is a message to our little citizens about the mysterious world that they live in and how to understand and take care of it. It's equally for grown-ups, though, and has surprisingly deep messages woven throughout the simple narrative. All of the important things about life and the world are distilled in this sparse text and gorgeo ...more
Olivia Henderson
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Haven’t been a fan of the Oliver Jeffers books I’ve read recently but I loved this one. The illustrations are amazing and so detailed. The words are so simple but put the point across perfectly. It shows us that the world is such a big place and there is so much more to discover! Great for children to understand the scale of the world they live in.
Lydia Duncalfe
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“You’re never alone on Earth”.
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
A simple but very charming book that captures a father's advice to his young child on living on our planet; how to treat it and how to treat each other. ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Over the course of three days more than seventy-five girls and boys looked and listened. There were collective gasps and sighs. There were nods of understanding. There was even applause at the conclusion.

Nine and ten-year old children are gifted with a unique kind of wisdom and freedom of thought. These students realize a father has not only given his son but other daughters and sons of the present and future a remarkable gift. HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH (Philomel Books, an im
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Living on planet earth may lead to a lot of questions and Oliver Jeffers answers many with this new book. Not one of my favorites. It makes me want to go hide in the jungle or go to a remote island after reading this.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m becoming a real fan of Oliver Jeffers and his art. Here we are is a gorgeously illustrated introduction to earth and to diversity and respect.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeffers, a master at his craft, wrote this book to explain our planet to his son.
Christine (Tina)
This fits perfectly under "Mimi-Prep"! Vibrant colors & illustrations- packs a powerful message from which we should never shy away. Definitely a toddler read but also worthy of childhood (& adulthood) revisits. ...more
Olivia Tosti
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must have for everyone's book shelf. Every page is full of diverse images and witty words. Favourite line 'We may all look different, act different and sound different....but don't be fooled, we are all people'. Every parent/carer/teacher needs this please! ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to this book 2 years ago and it instantly became a favourite! A beautiful books written by a Father to his son. Another fantastic book by Oliver Jeffers that I think every teacher should own
Cass -  Words on Paper
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: read-2017
I love Oliver Jeffers. <3 Excellent picture book, planning to get this for my little brother who is also a primary school teacher. Definitely one for the collection.
A masterpiece. Got this for my infant daughter but really it was a gift to myself.
Nicki Fairman
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lovely picture book explaining that we are all unique, and that you are never truly alone.
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Oliver Jeffers' work takes many forms. His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in galleries worldwide, and HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his award-winning picture books, now translated into over 30 languages.

In 2007, Jeffers was the official illustrator for World Book Day, and in 2008 Lost and Found became Oliver's first book to made into animation by London-based Studio AKA.


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