Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 6
- Grade: p to 1
Faced with moving away from his beloved river in the country, Martin discovers it is possible to make a meaningful connection to nature in the city, too, and find ways to accept changes beyond his control.
Martin loves to play by the river near his house. He watches the great blue herons and looks for crayfish and otters. He builds forts and lies in the tall grass near the water. But one day Martin’s parents tell him they have to move away, to the city.
The family spend a day in the city, exploring their future home. Martin rides the subway, visits the market, explores the museum and watches a street performer, but none of the city’s charms can compare with the river. Then his parents show him a small stream running through the park, and Martin senses something familiar in the air.
When moving day arrives, Martin fills a small glass jar with river water as a keepsake. And when he returns to the stream, he discovers that his connection to nature can be just as wondrous in the city.
This poetic story looks at the special relationship between an imaginative child and the natural world, and explores how that connection can be nurtured and recreated in a new place.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
About the authors
Jon-Erik Lappano’s debut picture book, Tokyo Digs a Garden, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and Japan’s Sakura Medal. Maggie’s Treasure, also illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, was inspired by Jon-Erik’s young daughters and has received wide acclaim. Jon-Erik lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his family.
Josée Bisaillon a illustré plus de trente-cinq livres pour enfants et créé de nombreuses illustrations pour des magazines et des journaux. Elle a été finaliste au Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général à deux reprises et a remporté le prestigieux Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award pour The Snow Knows. Il s’agit du quatrième ouvrage de Josée avec Orca, après My Head in the Clouds et Bedtime 123 écrit par Eric Walters, un succès de librairie. Elle vit en banlieue de Montréal avec sa famille.
Impactful … it touches on big ideas of adapting to change and of our relationships with nature.
CanLit for LittleCanadians Blog
Told with heart.
CLCD Children's Literature
Celebrates the wonderful connection kids can have with nature wherever they live.
May this book inspire families to spend hours in the local parks so they can join Martin in his enjoyment of all things natural.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials