What You Know First

Paperback | February 14, 1998

byPatricia Maclachlan

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‘A child comes to terms with the fact that she and her family are leaving the prairie. . . . As she talks herself into acceptance, her Mama helps her let go, commenting that the baby will need someone to tell him where he came from. So the girl gathers mementoes—a bag of earth and a piece of cottonwood tree. . . .A novel hides in these few pages. As with Sarah, Plain and Tall, the subext vibrates. So much is told in each perfectly chosen phrase. The story is deep and specific, but the pain and denial of a child leaving a known and loved place is all too universal. Moser’s finely-wrought engravings, enhanced by moody tints, record the departure.’—SLJ.

1995 "Pick of the Lists" (ABA)

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From Our Editors

A twig from the cottonwood tree and a little bag of prairie soil are the tokens by which one small girl will remember her beloved grasslands home when she and her family must suddenly move. Written in the first person with an endearing stoicism and vulnerability by esteemed children’s author Patricia MacLachlan, What You Know First inv...

From the Publisher

‘A child comes to terms with the fact that she and her family are leaving the prairie. . . . As she talks herself into acceptance, her Mama helps her let go, commenting that the baby will need someone to tell him where he came from. So the girl gathers mementoes—a bag of earth and a piece of cottonwood tree. . . .A novel hides in thes...

Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many beloved books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal, and her most recent novel, Word After Word After Word. Her picture books include Who Loves Me?, Three Names, What You Know First, and All the Places to Love. She lives with her husband and ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:32 pages, 9 × 9 × 0.68 inPublished:February 14, 1998Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0064434923

ISBN - 13:9780064434928

Appropriate for ages: 3 - 5

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From Our Editors

A twig from the cottonwood tree and a little bag of prairie soil are the tokens by which one small girl will remember her beloved grasslands home when she and her family must suddenly move. Written in the first person with an endearing stoicism and vulnerability by esteemed children’s author Patricia MacLachlan, What You Know First invites readers big and small to remember a cherished place. Barry Moser’s engravings will haunt with their delicate and subtle imagery of a poignant farewell to a beloved first home.