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list price: $18.99
edition:Hardcover
published: May 2019
ISBN:9781771389174
publisher: Kids Can Press

Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden

by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Anne Villeneuve

tagged: friendship, city & town life, environment
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.99
edition:Hardcover
published: May 2019
ISBN:9781771389174
publisher: Kids Can Press
Description

Vincent is staying with his aunt Mimi for the summer while his mom recuperates from surgery. Mimi's drab city neighborhood, complete with an empty dirt lot across the street, doesn't seem too promising. But then Vincent meets Toma, a boy who lives nearby, and things start looking up. Mimi has a mysterious box of “dirt balls” in her apartment. When she asks Vincent to get rid of them, the fun Vincent and Toma have throwing them into the lot becomes the start of a budding friendship. Then one day, they notice new shoots sprouting all over the lot. Maybe those balls weren't just made of dirt after all!

Bestselling author Andrew Larsen brings a light touch and gentle humor to this picture book story about several kinds of growth --- of the boys and their friendship, the flowers in the newly thriving lot, and the community that comes together around it. Award-winning artist Anne Villeneuve's illustrations add a visual layer to the storytelling as they show the transformation from mostly gray to vibrant color, both literally, in the blossoming garden, and figuratively, in the now engaged neighborhood. This book highlights the value of connecting to nature, even in urban areas, and the sense of community that comes from civic engagement. It's an excellent choice for character education lessons on kindness, generosity and citizenship.

About the Authors
Andrew Larsen is a father, homemaker and author. His books include A Squiggly Story, In the Tree House, which won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and See You Next Year, which received wide critical acclaim. Andrew lives in Toronto, Ontario. His local library just happens to be a Carnegie Library.
Author profile page >

ANNE VILLENEUVE has worked as an author and illustrator for over 25 years, creating close to 40 books, several of which have won awards. She has also illustrated for magazines, newspapers, and advertisements, and teaches watercolor and drawing at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She lives in Montreal with her family and tries to draw every day, even on vacation.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Andrew Larsen is the acclaimed author of such books as Goodnight, Hockey Fans, A Squiggly Story, The Not-So-Faraway Adventure, In the Tree House and The Imaginary Garden. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Anne Villeneuve has written and illustrated close to 40 books, created games for magazines, illustrated for newspapers and designed cake boxes for a bakery. Over the years, her work has earned her many distinguished recognitions, such as the Governor General's Literary Award and the Québec/Wallonie-Bruxelles Literary Award in 2000, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2005 and 2009, and the Mr. Christie's Book Award in 1998.

Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
3 to 7
Grade:
p to 2
Awards
  • Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association
  • , Green Earth Book Award, The Nature Generation
  • , Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award, Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • , The Globe 100: Books that shaped 2019, The Globe and Mail
Editorial Reviews

A sweet story that celebrates community coming together to create something wonderful.

— Kirkus Reviews

This wonderfully written book will entertain young readers or listeners in a read-aloud.—School Library Connection


... a wonderfully well-executed story of friendship, community, and the importance of nature and its potential as a source for inspiration, healing, and bringing people together.—CM Magazine


... a captivating story involving friendship and the positive outcome a community garden can have on activating civic engagement and a culture of caring.—Canadian Children's Book News


A sweet story that celebrates community coming together to create something wonderful.—Kirkus Reviews


A lovely addition to libraries and classrooms, especially those looking for multicultural characters and insightful books about friendship.—School Library Journal


... a heartwarming story of serendipity and connection, both among people and with the environment.—Booklist, starred review


... a heartwarming story of serendipity and connection, both among people and with the environment.

— Booklist, starred review

... magical ...—The Globe and Mail


A lovely addition to libraries and classrooms, especially those looking for multicultural characters and insightful books about friendship.

— School Library Journal

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