Reviews for You’re Here for a Reason:
Tillman (The Heaven of Animals) pairs her characteristically cheerful exhortations with layered mixed-media artwork in which startlingly real-looking children and animals play. The children dance with tigers, play soccer with kangaroos, and cuddle with pandas as Tillman assures readers that every life has a purpose: “Life works together, the good and the bad,/ the silly and awful, and happy and sad,/ to paint a big picture we can’t always see…/ a picture that needs you, most definitely.” In this interconnected world, she suggests, children’s good deeds have effects that they may never know about (“A kindness, for instance, may triple for days…/ or set things in motion in different ways”). She pictures the good deeds and the distance they travel as a boy, accompanied by a blue elephant, lets go of his colorful, long-tailed kite. A fox uses it as a sled for her kits, and the ribbons become a bridle for a moose and adorn a bird’s nest, which serves as a boat for a ferret. Polished artwork and character-building verse make this just as desirable as Tillman’s previous books.
School Library Journal
Tillman illustrates children mingling with animals in a vibrantly colored, dreamlike realm. As usual, her characteristic, almost photographic, digital and mixed-media paintings complement the soothing cadence of the text and beautiful rhyme. Goodwill spreads from page to page in the shape of a kite and a ball, showing how actions affect the world. Tillman frames her lovely poem with the idea of a puzzle, starting with the verse that reads, “If not for your hands and your eyes and your feet,/the world, like a puzzle, would be incomplete” and ending with an image of a globe made up of puzzle pieces, depicting the paintings in the book… It may not be obvious, but every person is a piece required to form the whole.
VERDICT Fans of Tillman’s previous titles will want to get this one as well; another ideal bedtime story for children and guardians to share.
Children’s Book and Media Review
We all matter – it is an important thing to remember, especially on the hard days. This is a message that everyone needs, and in this book, the author targets that message to children. She shows that even the smallest decisions can have great consequences, that we can learn from one another, and that we all make an impact on the people and world around us.
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book with thought-provoking prose and bright, whimsically painted illustrations. Although the format is that of a board book (with the intended audience being small children), it is a book that will appeal to people of all ages. It will open the eyes of children to the world around them, and remind adults of the importance of being connected in our world. This would be a wonderful book for adults to share with children, and could spark some important discussions.