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On the Other Side of the Garden

by Jairo Buitrago
Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng
Translated by from the Spanish by Elisa Amado

Published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2018
54 pages
ISBN: 978-1-55498-983-6

Ages 4-7

On her first night at her grandmotherís house in the country, Isabel is lonely and uncertain. She doesnít know her grandmother and she doesnít know how long her father will be gone. Then an owl, a frog and a mouse appear at the window lead her out into the moonlit yard. The owl is a gentle caretaker, the frog forthright and full of questions, the mouse shy and hoping for a snack. They tell her about her grandmother, who is kind, and perhaps a little lonely, too. She tells them about her mother, who lives in another country and writes her letters, and her dad, who is looking for work. The dark night eventually becomes a bright morning, and waiting for Isabel back at the house is her grandmother, offering matter-of-fact reassurance. The warm colors and rounded shapes of the three animals against the dark-sky pages, the small moments of humor throughout the striking digital illustrations reminiscent of pen-and-ink, and the brightening palette mirroring Latina Isabelís shifting outlook all contribute to the sense of comfort this picture book provides. ©2018 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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