Early one Saturday morning, a boy prepares for a trip to The Other Side/El Otro Lado. It’s close–just down the street from his school–and it’s a twin of where he lives. To get there, his father drives their truck along the Rio Grande and over a bridge, where they’re greeted by a giant statue of an eagle. Their outings always include a meal at their favorite restaurant, a visit with Tío Mateo at his jewelry store, a cold treat from the paletero, and a pharmacy pickup. On their final and most important stop, they check in with friends seeking asylum and drop off much-needed supplies.
City and town life
What Grew In Larry’s Garden
Grace thinks Larry’s garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him – watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there’s a problem – like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce – Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry’s example to find the perfect solution. Inspired by a real person, author Laura Alary has written a heartwarming story about how amazing things can grow when you tend your garden with kindness. In this case, Larry, a teacher, is helping to grow community. He has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbors with personal notes. It offers a powerful lesson on the influence of generosity, while encouraging young children to become community activists in their own neighborhoods. This uplifting story fosters an appreciation for neighborhood and community at a time when that sentiment seems to be eroding. The book also contains an environmental message about harvesting your own vegetables and, with Kass Reich’s colorful illustrations, works beautifully for a life science exploration of growth and changes in plants. There are character education connections to caring, cooperation, empathy, kindness, perseverance and teamwork.
The Mustache Man
Nekgaon is a perfect village. Yes, everything’s perfect, from the cock’s crow to the setting sun. But a strange demand from a strange man changes everything.
What Thea wants more than anything in the world is a tree a real tree to climb and hide in, to sit under and dream.
Maybe Something Beautiful
Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.
When the mayor of the Tidiest Town notices a single flower out of place, Fussy Great Ape offers to help. Unfortunately, he causes a bigger mess in the process. He calls on his other ape friends to help, but their good intentions lead the town into even greater chaos! Can they put this town back together?
Seeing Off The Johns
People in the small town of Greenton mark their lives from that day in late summer when crowds lined the streets to see off high school athletic stars John Robison and John Mijias. That was the day the Johns, as they were known by adoring fans in Greenton, left for state college, and never made it there—or back. The Johns had spent their high school years putting that nowhere losing town on the map with playoff runs in football and state championship bids in baseball. For Concepcion “Chon” Gonzales, the days that the Johns headed out and didn’t return was the first day of his new life.
In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.
Last Stop On Market Street
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
Join the discussion of Last Stop on Market Street as well as other books centered around relocation on our My Take/Your Take page.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 3
City Kitty Cat
A witty, city kitty goes on a wild journey in this lively picture book illustrated with a retro vibe and discovers that there’s no place like home! City Kitty Cat loves driving his cab through the city, visiting museums and eating at fancy restaurants. But then he makes some new friends who convince him to join them in their wild home. Can a city kitty call the jungle home sweet home?