Dear Baobab

By Cheryl Foggo

Illustrated By Qin Leng

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An African boy struggles with homesickness as he adjusts to life in North America

Maiko has left his village in Africa far behind, moving to live with his aunt and uncle in North America. When he thinks of home he thinks of the large Baobab at the center of his old village. To ease his loneliness, Maiko adopts the little spruce tree in the front yard of his new home. When he learns that the spruce is in danger of being cut down, Maiko knows he can’t let that happen. He knows all too well what it’s like to be small, and feel planted in the wrong place.

Praise & Recognition

Dear Baobab is a charming read that, without being too syrupy-sweet, offers encouragement to anyone who has ever felt they are in the wrong place. ... The conversations between Maiko and the tree are particularly superb, capturing the charm and innocence expected of any seven-year-old, but containing the ache of someone who longs for the past. Quill & Quire
"Lovely!" Sal's Fiction Addiction Blog
Maiko experiences an orphan’s loneliness and an immigrant’s unease but eventually finds comfort in his new home. Kirkus Reviews
"Foggo's lyrical text is perfect for reading aloud, and certain expressions nearly turn the story into poetry...Maiko's story is simple and buoyant and will appeal to a wide range of children." CM Magazine
Leng's illustrations are a very good match for the story. Perfect for young listeners or readers ages 5 up. Resource Links
This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. It is suitable for both individual readers and for story time. So Many Books... So Little Time
Loved the original concept with the Baobab tree, and the universal concept of children having to move and try to fit in. Canadian Teacher Magazine
This sweetly illustrated picture book is the story of a small boy’s struggle to develop a sense of belonging in a new country. All primary aged children can relate to his vulnerability and to the many emotions expressed in Maiko’s story, making it an ideal venue for teaching the concept of making connections. CanLit for Little Canadians
Calgarian Cheryl Foggo's impressive writing credentials foretold the jewel of Dear Baobab, her first children's picture book, a sympathetic but hopeful portrayal of finding a way to fit it. Papertigers Blog
Dear Baobab is a gentle story about settling into a new home and a new culture. It opens up many questions for young readers, who will be touched by its universally relevant themes of bullying and belonging. Healthy Books Blog
This is a moving and delightful story of a child who has had to make enormous changes in his life. Beautifully - even lyrically - written, it also has evocative and warmly human illustrations. A lovely book.

Details

Publication Date: September 1, 2011

Reading Age: 3 - 5

Reading Level: N

Genre: Picture Book, Children's Fiction

Product Format: Hardback

Pages: 24

ISBN: 978-1-897187-91-3

About the Author

Cheryl Foggo

Cheryl Foggo is an author, screenwriter and playwright. She has a particular interest in the history of Black pioneers on the prairies and has written extensively on that subject, most significantly in Pourin' Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West. Her young adult novels, One Thing That's True and I Have Been in Danger were finalists for the Governor General's Award and the Silver Birch Award respectively. Her most recent films are John Ware Reclaimed and Kicking Up A Fuss: The Charles Daniels Story. She lives in Calgary.

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Qin Leng

About the Illustrator

Qin Leng

Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China and lived in France before moving to Montreal. She always loved to illustrate the innocence of children and has developed a passion for children’s books. She now works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto.
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