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Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo

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Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo; Qin Leng, illus.In Dear Baobab, when seven-year-old Maiko loses his parents and is transplanted from his small village in Tanzania to a North American city where he lives with his Uncle Peter and Aunt Aji, he misses the giant 2000-year-old baobab tree that was central to village life. In his new home, Maiko forms a bond with a little spruce that is exactly the same age as he. But the spruce is also an accidental transplant, and its roots threaten the foundation of the house Maiko lives in with his aunt and uncle - Dear Baobab is the story of what happens when Maiko learns the little tree is about to be cut down.

Beautifully rendered illustrations are rich in detail and colour, sure to fascinate children, and Foggo’s exquisite prose will make reading the book aloud an adult pleasure. This captivating and appealing book is bound to make a treasured gift.

Cheryl Foggo is a journalist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, and young adult novelist. Recipient of numerous awards for her work and achievements, her first young adult novel, One Thing That’s True (Kids Can 1997), was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s literature and the Mr. Christie’s Book Award.  

Praise for Dear Baobab

Dear Baobab comes “highly recommended” by CM Magazine and received a starred review in Quill and Quire.

“Dear Baobab is a charming read that, without being too syrupy-sweet, provides encouragement to anyone that has ever felt they’re in the wrong place.” ~ Sarah Sorenson, Quill & Quire

“As Uncle Peter says, ‘It’s a serious thing, to feel that you don’t belong,’ and this lovely book, with its emotionally rich prose, and simple but expressive artwork from Shanghai-born illustrator Qin Leng, treats that ‘serious thing’ with the respect and compassion it deserves, crafting an immensely moving reading experience in the process. The conclusion, in which Maiko’s arboreal friend is to be transplanted to a very special forest, and Maiko tells it: ‘You see, we can’t always grow where we are planted. But we can still grow somewhere else,’  is so very fitting – so very right, and true – had me in tears. Highly, highly recommended, to anyone looking for excellent children’s stories about immigration, family, and belonging (and trees, of course)! I don’t give out five-star ratings at the drop of a hat (very rarely, in fact), but Cheryl Foggo’s Dear Baobab more than merits it, and I hope it goes on to great success!” ~ Abigail A - Goodreads

“While the parallels between Maiko and the spruce are laid out explicitly for the book’s young audience, the narrative leaves plenty of scope for a child’s imagination, and the full-page illustrations by Qin Leng are drenched in color, vividly conveying the difference between Maiko’s village and his new home. This gentle, deeply-felt book provides a lovely teachable moment about belonging and alienation, not to mention diversity, for little ones.” ~ Niranjana Iyer, Brown Paper

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation.

Read an INTERVIEW with Cheryl Foggo about Dear Baobab

Read the Quill & Quire REVIEW

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