It’s a good thing we don’t remember being born. An unceasing procession of strange smells, unfamiliar sights and alien sounds—not to mention cooing faces thrust into our fields of vision—the first moments of post-uterine life must have been utterly bewildering. We were barely acquainted with the mechanics of our nascent corporeal form, let alone the wider world that extended far beyond our nubby, lolling appendages.
Like any able new father, Oliver Jeffers decided to give his newborn son a primer of sorts. “The start of it was when we came home from the hospital, and at the front door of our apartment I announced, ‘Here we are, this is where you live!’ and proceeded to give him a tour,” Jeffers said.
The author and illustrator found the process of explaining the “sheer magnitude of everything, from scratch” at once absurd and overwhelming. It also formed the kernel of what would become his latest picture book, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth.