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9781897187913_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $15.95
published: Sep 2011
publisher: Second Story Press

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.

About the Authors

Cheryl Foggo

Author profile page >

Qin Leng lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. She graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork. Throughout her career, Qin has illustrated picture books, magazines and book covers with publishers around the world. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, written by Chieri Uegaki, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and received the APALA Award for best picture book.

Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
5 to 8
1 to 3
Reading age:
6 to 8
Editorial Reviews

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.

— Healthy Books Blog

Leng's illustrations are a very good match for the story. Perfect for young listeners or readers ages 5 up.

— The Happy Nappy Bookseller

Maiko experiences an orphan’s loneliness and an immigrant’s unease but eventually finds comfort in his new home.

— Kirkus Reviews

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.

— CanLit for Little Canadians

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.

— Papertigers Blog

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.

— Canadian Teacher Magazine

Loved the original concept with the Baobab tree, and the universal concept of children having to move and try to fit in.

— So Many Books... So Little Time


— Sal's Fiction Addiction Blog

This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. It is suitable for both individual readers and for story time.

— Resource Links

"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

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

Reader Reviews

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Top  Grade
Librarian review

Dear Baobab

After moving from Africa to North America, Maiko knows what it is to feel planted in the wrong place.

This is a story to share to help young readers understand the feelings and challenges that many young immigrant children face when moving to a new country. The special relationship that Maiko has with a giant baobab tree in his village in Africa as well as the spruce tree that sits in the yard of his new home, shows the comfort – and friendship — we can find within our natural environment.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

Related Blog Posts

Reading Lists Featuring “Dear Baobab”

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