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5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $18.95
published: Mar 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: Mar 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.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

About the Authors

Maxine Trottier

A prolific writer and educator, Maxine Trottier makes history come alive in picture books and novels for young readers. Her award-winning titles include Claire's Gift, which won the Mr. Christie's Book Award, The Paint Box, and Prairie Willow. Born in Michigan, Maxine is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. and makes her home in Port Stanley, Ontario.
Author profile page >

Isabelle Arsenault is a three-time winner of the Governor General's Award for Illustration and has been shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award; her work has garnered her several more honors besides. She is the illustrator of Virginia Wolf; Jane, the Fox and Me; Cloth Lullaby; and Just Because, among many other books. Isabelle is also the author-illustrator of the A Mile End Kids Story series. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age and Grade
4 to 7
p to 2
  • Commended, ALA Notable Chilren's Books List
  • Commended, 2012 USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Syliva Schwartz Children's Picture Book Award
  • Winner, 2012 Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award
  • Short-listed, 6th Annual ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award.
  • Winner, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award Honour Book
  • Commended, New York Times Best Illustrated
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Award: Illustration
Editorial Reviews

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

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

— 32 Pages


— Canadian Children's Book News

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

— The New York Times Book Review

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

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

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

— Kirkus Reviews

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

— CM Magazine

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

— Sal's Fiction Addiction

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