And Then The Seed Grew

In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden’s residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant?

Africville

When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great-grandmother’s name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.

Mr. Postmouse Takes a Trip

The post office is closed, and that means it’s time for Mr. Postmouse and his family to take a vacation. Of course, he’ll need to bring along a few parcels a postmouse’s rounds are never done! As he and Mrs. Mouse, Milo, Lulu and Pip set off on an around-the-world tour. The scenes provide an introduction to the concepts of community and neighborhoods, as well as modes of transportation.

The Promise

On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old woman’s bag. But the frail old woman, holding on with the strength of heroes, says the thief can’t have it without giving something in return: the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girl’s life — and a chance to change the world, for good.

Join the discussion of The Promise as well as other books centered around relocation on our My Take/Your Take page.

A Proper Acadian

In 1755, young Timothy is sent from Boston to live with his mother’s relatives in Acadia. As the story unfolds, Timothy grows to love the beauty of the Acadian landscape and the close-knit, hardworking Acadian community. One June night, American soldiers — who had come under the guise of a fishing party — ransack the Acadians’ houses for arms while their hosts lie sleeping. This treacherous event portends the disaster that follows later that summer: the Acadian deportation.

What A Party!

If it is just a few days until your birthday, and your mother says you can invite anyone you like to come over to play, be careful! If you don’t watch out, you might soon be having the craziest party ever. Before you know it, night could come and go and a new day could begin, and the dancing might still be going strong. In a celebration of neighbors and diversity, an open-ended party invitation results in a raucous gathering of children, pets, and parents (plus salsa dancers and a reggae band!), all feasting on food from all over the world.

I Am Jack

Life is good for Jack. He’s a great photographer, he wins at handball, and time at home with his family is never boring. But when big George Hamel starts calling Jack “Butt Head,” school becomes a little less great. And when everyone starts calling him “Butt Head,” it gets outright dangerous.

Susanne Gervay’s thoughtful story sheds light on the contagious and destructive nature of school bullying, and the power of humor, love, and community to overcome it.

It’s Our Nature

elieving that animals have feelings, Orozco suggests that humans could learn how to live more harmoniously by looking at how various creatures behave. She gives 10 examples of how specific animals demonstrate tolerance, responsibility, generosity, community, communication, trust, commitment, altruism, and brotherhood. For instance, female elephants generously nurse and protect younger elephants even if the babies are not their own. Wildebeests tolerate zebras that mix in with their herds for protection from predators. Other animals represented include the howler monkey, flamingo, dolphin, armadillo, crocodile, octopus, penguin, and wolf. Each behavior is explained on a spread, accompanied by a simple illustration. Cottin places minimally detailed animal shapes into spare habitats, giving the pages an uncluttered, clean appearance. The art is done in combinations of soft and gentle blues, pinks, grays, yellows, and greens with added browns, black, and white. Bright orange endpapers contrast with the lighter color choices. This attractive title successfully introduces children to different traits that contribute to congenial living and is appropriate for group sharing or individual browsing. It differs from many other animal books because of its emphasis on humans learning from animal behaviors.