Ojiichan’s Gift

This gentle picture book story will warm children’s hearts as it explores a deep intergenerational bond and the passing of knowledge from grandparent to grandchild over time. The lyrical text by Chieri Uegaki and luminous watercolor illustrations by Genevieve Simms beautifully capture the emotional arc of the story, from Mayumi’s contentment through her anger and disappointment to, finally, her acceptance. The story focuses on an important connection to nature, particularly as a place for quiet reflection. It contains character education lessons on caring, responsibility, perseverance and initiative. It’s also a wonderful way to introduce social studies conversations about family, aging and multiculturalism. Mayumi lives in North America with her Japanese mother and Dutch father, and visits her grandfather in Japan. Some Japanese words are included.

A Year In Our New Garden

Anna and Benjamin’s family has just moved into their dream house and even though it’s in the middle of a busy town, it has a beautiful big garden for them all to enjoy. Soon the family has made plans for their perfect garden. Mum wants a lawn and a terrace, Dad wants to help the birds and insects, Benjamin wants to plant beautiful flowers and Anna wants to fill the garden with tasty vegetables.

How Does My Garden Grow?

Sophie lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. Then she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside — and soon discovers how much there is to learn about how things grow! Sophie helps her grandfather through the different seasons, finding out about mulching onions, eating flowers, weeding, bees, making salad, catching beetles, digging, earthing up, picking and composting. When winter comes, Sophie has to go home — but her grandfather has one last surprise for her.

Chiles For Benito / Chiles Para Benito

chilesThis charming bilingual fable explains the origins of the all-important chile Chiles ristras adorn the kitchen and dishes all over New Mexico. In the winter, when the nights grow longer and the winds blow stronger, chiles season meats and stews bringing New Mexico spice to every hungry taste bud. But chiles didn’t always grow in New Mexico, and Ana Baca tells a special fable about Benito and the chiles that crawled all over his family’s simple homestead. Benito’s mother sends him to the country fair in the hopes of their cow winning the first place prize. This would give them money to buy some seeds for the crop, but the cow misbehaves and they must leave the fair. Suddenly, Benito is stopped by a mysterious man with a peculiar bird on his shoulder. The man offers Benito some powerful seeds in exchange for his cow, which Benito quickly accepts. But when only uncontrollable weeds grow from the ground, Benito begins to feel foolish. The neighboring farmers begin to complain that the relentless weeds are killing their crop. How will the community survive? Will the rapidly growing weeds ever bear fruit for Benito?