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?

What There Is Before There Is Anything There

Every night when his parents turn off the light, strange creatures descend from the black space where the ceiling used to be . . . First comes one, then another, and then more and more. They stand all around him, staring, not saying a word. And then, worst of all, comes the dark, shapeless one that tells him, “I am what’s there before there is anything there . . .”

An Infidel in Paradise

Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn’t enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

A young boy spots a baby tree growing in the middle of a dusty path in his village. He carefully places rocks around it as the local mango seller rushes past shouting, ?Out of the way! Out of the way!” As the tree grows bigger, people and animals traverse the path until it becomes a lane, flowing like a river around the tree and getting out of its way. Over time, the lane becomes a road, and a young man crossing the road with his children remembers the baby tree from long ago. By the time he is an old man, the tree has become a giant. The city traffic continues to rattle past, noisier and busier than ever, but sometimes the great tree works its magic, and people just stop, and listen. In this simple, lyrical story, a wide-spreading tree and a busy road grow simultaneously, even as time passes and the footsteps of people and animals give way to speeding cars, buses and trucks.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 1

Adiós, Tricycle

TricycleIt’s yard sale time, and things are flying off the tables. But this little piggy isn’t letting anybody buy his tricycle. Sure, he’s too big to ride it, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love it anymore! But when the day is almost over, someone just the right size comes along, and it’s clearly time to let the trike go. Luckily, it turns out the yard sale money is meant for a very exciting new purchase—a big-boy bike! Susan Middleton Elya’s trademark mix of Spanish vocabulary and clever verse and Elisabeth Schlossberg’s vibrant illustrations come together in a funny, tender tale of saying good-bye to things you’ve outgrown.