Jon-Erik Lappano Tokyo Digs a Garden

ISBN 13: 9781554987986

Tokyo Digs a Garden

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Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again? One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?

WithTokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka have created a thoughtful and inspiring fable of environmentalism and imagination.

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About the Author:

Jon-Erik Lappano is an environmental educator, storyteller, and creative producer with curiosity and love of all things wild. He lives in Guelph, Canada, with his young and growing family. This is his first book.

Kellen Hatanaka is a designer and illustrator who lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife, Kiersten. He is the author and illustrator of Work: An Occupational ABC and Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites.

From School Library Journal:

K-Gr 3—Young Tokyo lives with his mother, father, grandfather, and cat in a small house that his grandfather has lived in since childhood. When Grandfather was a boy, the house was on a hill surrounded by the beauty of nature. Now, the house is surrounded by the tall buildings of a city. One day, Tokyo is gifted three seeds, which he plants in a tiny space by the house. The very next day, there are wildflowers growing. The following morning, the city is overtaken with trees, shrubs, and flowers. Throughout the week, the garden grows so much and so many animals move in that it is difficult for the people of the city to go about their business. Grandfather suggests that Tokyo come up with a solution. His decision is one that he feels is best for all. This bright and colorful picture book inspires imaginative thinking. Readers will wonder what the three seeds could possibly produce and will be thrilled as they see the lush garden begin to grow. The illustrations, created digitally with watercolor, ink drawings, and collage, are big and blocky and could be used in and of themselves as an art lesson on the illusion of space through collage. The text is neither too simple nor too complex but just what is needed to relate this imaginative tale of environmentalism. VERDICT This title could be used in a wide variety of academic disciplines, including science, art, social studies, and language arts.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

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