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5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $18.95
published: March 2011
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd


by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

tagged: emigration & immigration, mexico
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $18.95
published: March 2011
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011, an Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Honour Book, and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration and Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards: Picture Book

Each spring Anna leaves her home in Mexico and travels north with her family where they will work on farms. Sometimes she feels like a bird, flying north in the spring and south in the fall. Sometimes she feels like a jack rabbit living in an abandoned burrow, as her family moves into an empty house near the fields. But most of all she wonders what it would be like to stay in one place.

The Low German-speaking Mennonites from Mexico are a unique group of migrants who moved from Canada to Mexico in the 1920s and became an important part of the farming community there. But it has become increasingly difficult for them to earn a livelihood, and so they come back to Canada each year as migrant workers in order to survive. And while they currently have the right to work in Canada, that right may be challenged. Working conditions are difficult for all migrant workers, most of whom have to leave families far behind. And yet countries like Canada and the United States benefit greatly from their labor.

Beautifully written by Maxine Trottier and imaginatively illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, this book describes what it is like to be a child in a migrant family.

About the Authors

Maxine Trottier

Author profile page >

Isabelle Arsenault has illustrated several children's books, including Spork, My Letter to the World and Other Poems and Mr. Gaugin's Heart. She has received many awards for her work, including the Governor General's Award for Illustration. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Maxine Trottier has written many award-winning children’s books, including The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing (Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children), Claire’s Gift (Mr. Christie’s Book Award), Sister to the Wolf (Society of School Librarians International Honor Book) and Under a Shooting Star (Geoffrey Bilson Award Finalist). She was inspired to write Migrant after spending summers in Leamington, Ontario, where she encountered many Mennonites from Mexico.

Isabelle Arsenault is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator whose work has won many awards. Her books include Alpha, Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol and Migrant by Maxine Trottier.

Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault first collaborated on the graphic novel Jane, the Fox and Me, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration (French) and the Joe Shuster Awards for Best Writer and Best Artist. It was also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book.

Recommended Age and Grade
4 to 7
p to 2
  • Winner, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award Honour Book
  • Short-listed, 6th Annual ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award.
  • Commended, 2012 USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • Commended, ALA Notable Chilren's Books List
  • Winner, 2012 Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Syliva Schwartz Children's Picture Book Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Award: Illustration
  • Commended, New York Times Best Illustrated
Editorial Reviews

The words and images could stand alone as feats of artistic excellence. Together, they form a package that should become a staple for kids learning about Canada’s diverse population.

— Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

Migrant does a rare thing in children’s books of this type: it teaches without being pedantic

— 32 Pages

...a wonderful addition to any book collection...

— CM Magazine

Without a heavy message, this sensitive offering captures a small child’s experience of constant upheaval as she flies like a feather in the wind.

— Booklist


— Canadian Children's Book News

"...moving, inventive and thoughtful..."

— Kirkus Reviews

New York Times Top 10 Book of the year, 2011.

— The New York Times Book Review

Lyrical metaphors comparing Anna to various animals reveal her connection to nature, her vivid imagination, and her heartfelt desire to feel more settled.

— Language Arts

Separating this work from other children's books about migration and work is the focus on Mexico's Mennonite community and the issues faced by some of its members in Canada and Mexico.

— Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

The illustrations...will grab the attention of those sharing this book.

— Sal's Fiction Addiction