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Children's Fiction General

Mr. Hiroshi's Garden

by (author) Maxine Trottier

illustrated by Paul Morin

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Jul 2006
General, Military & Wars
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


White Raven Award of the International Youth Library winner, 2000

A CCBC Our Choice Book

Recipient of The Storytelling World Honor Title, 2000

Notable Book, Social Studies, Children's Books Council

For Mary, too young to fully understand about war and far-off places, the promise was meant to last only until Mr. Hiroshi came back. But after a while it was clear the her friend wouldn't be coming home. Still, Mary faithfully kept her word all through that long summer. And when the new people came to live in Mr. Hiroshi's house, she knew exactly what to do.

A tale as elegant as a Japanese garden!

Once more, Maxine Trottier takes a small piece of a larger story, nurtures it with care, and grows a tale as elegant as a Japanese Garden. Mr. Hiroshi's Garden is a simple story of innocence and friendship set against a backdrop of fear and suspicion. A story that must be told and told again--but never allowed to recur.

- Originally published as Flags

About the authors

Maxine Trottier is a prolific writer of books for young people. Born in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan on May 3, 1950, she moved to Windsor, Ontario in Canada with her family ten years later. In 1974 she became a Canadian citizen. She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.Maxine spent 31 years working as an educator in elementary classrooms, guiding children toward literacy. The students in her class, who of course thought of her only as their teacher, saw each step in the creation of a new work. They heard the unillustrated story, saw the roughs, and were the first to view the finished book.Maxine lives with her husband William and their two Yorkies, Ceilidh and Moon. They divide their year between Port Stanley, Ontario on Lake Erie, and Newman s Cove, Newfoundland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Both are wonderful places to write.

Maxine Trottier's profile page

Paul Morin,
an accomplished painter, sculptor and musician is also the illustrator of a number of children's books. He has also received 25 international awards for his book illustrations. In addition, Paul has won many accolades for his work, including ten awards from the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators, and a nomination for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Morin now lives near Rockwood, Ontario.

Paul Morin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"[Mr. Hiroshi's Garden is exactly the kind of picture book which will be treasured by teachers, librarians, and parents.
Highly Recommended."
CM Magazine

"Set on the West Coast during the Second World War, this exquisitely sad and beautiful book tells of the friendship between Mary, a prairie girl visiting her grandmother for the summer, and Mr. Hiroshi, the next-door neighbour, who shares his garden with her until he is interned with the other Japanese Canadians in the area. When Mary says goodbye to Mr. Hiroshi, she promises to look after his garden. She keeps her promise until the house is sold, and then honours the friendship by transplanting two of his irises - a variety called flags - in the soil of her prairie home."
Quill and Quire

"Ages 4 to 8 will enjoy the strong colours of these full-page illustrations for a story that is both sad, enlightening and educational."
Burnaby Now

"Flags is a powerful retelling of a dark incident in Canadian history - the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II. Maxine Trottier has taken a small piece of this much larger and more complex story and told it in a language and setting which young children can understand."
Association for Teacher-Librarianship in Canada

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