Where Wonder Grows

Grandma knows that there is wondrous knowledge to be found everywhere you can think to look. She takes her girls to their special garden, and asks them to look over their collection of rocks, crystals, seashells, and meteorites to see what marvels they have to show. “They were here long before us and know so much more about our world than we ever will,” Grandma says. So they are called grandfathers. By taking a close look with an open mind, they see the strength of rocks shaped by volcanoes, the cleansing power of beautiful crystals, the oceans that housed their shells and shapes its environment, and the long journey meteorites took to find their way to them. Gathered together, Grandma and the girls let their surroundings spark their imaginations.

Johnny’s Pheasant

“Pull over, Grandma! Hurry!” Johnny says. Grandma does, and Johnny runs to show her what he spotted near the ditch: a sleeping pheasant. What Grandma sees is a small feathery hump. When Johnny wants to take it home, Grandma tries to tell him that the pheasant might have been hit by a car. But maybe she could use the feathers for her craftwork? So home with Grandma and Johnny the pheasant goes . . .
It’s hard to say who is most surprised by what happens next—Grandma, Johnny, or the pheasant. But no one will be more delighted than the reader at this lesson about patience and kindness and respect for nature, imparted by Grandma’s gentle humor, Johnny’s happy hooting, and all the quiet wisdom found in Cheryl Minnema’s stories of Native life and Julie Flett’s remarkably evocative and beautiful illustrations.

Cherry Blossom And Paper Planes

Adin and Dina are best friends. They live in the beautiful countryside surrounded by cherry trees. Their favorite game is to plant cherry pits around their little village – in the cracks in the sidewalk and in the flowerbeds outside the post office. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will Adin and Dina’s friendship survive the new distance between them? In this beautifully lyrical book, one story fractures into two when the friends are parted. But their lives continue to be linked as Adin finds a way to feel connected to his friend – throwing paper planes filled with cherry pits from the balcony of his apartment building. Held together by their love of cherry blossom and paper planes, Adin and Dina’s roads finally lead back to one another.

Wonders Of Nature

Bright-eyed birds, evanescent butterflies, tropical fish and other pleasures await the readers of this large format book that will appeal to young children’s curiosity about the natural world. Reminiscent of the watercolors of Ernst Haeckel, John James Audubon, and Maria Sibylla Merian, these charming and expertly rendered pictures of birds, insects, and fish will provide hours of exploration. Presented in double-page spreads, interspersed with informative texts, Guiraud’s illustrations capture the wondrous beauty that populates our oceans, forests, and fields. Her expressive illustrations create a sense of intimacy and empathy with the natural world and their exquisite detail rewards close investigation. Certain to captivate both children and adults, this magnificent book will instill in its readers a connection to the world around them and ignite a sense of wonder about all living things.

Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden

Bestselling author Andrew Larsen brings a light touch and gentle humor to this picture book story about several kinds of growth — of the boys and their friendship, the flowers in the newly thriving lot, and the community that comes together around it. Award-winning artist Anne Villeneuve’s illustrations add a visual layer to the storytelling as they show the transformation from mostly gray to vibrant color, both literally, in the blossoming garden, and figuratively, in the now engaged neighborhood. This book highlights the value of connecting to nature, even in urban areas, and the sense of community that comes from civic engagement. It’s an excellent choice for character education lessons on kindness, generosity and citizenship.