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.
Maiko experiences an orphan’s loneliness and an immigrant’s unease but eventually finds comfort in his new home.
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.
"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."
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.
This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. It is suitable for both individual readers and for story time.
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.
Loved the original concept with the Baobab tree, and the universal concept of children having to move and try to fit in.
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.
Leng's illustrations are a very good match for the story. Perfect for young listeners or readers ages 5 up.
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.