cover image The Seeds of Friendship

The Seeds of Friendship

Michael Foreman. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7834-0

In his story about an African boy who has immigrated to a Western country, Foreman (I Love You, Too!) lets his artwork supply most of the information. Adam is from a “faraway place,” but he has moved to an apartment in a city. It’s exciting, but lonely; Adam paints his homesickness, hanging pictures of African animals on his wall. He draws more animals in the frost that appears on the windows and, during his first snowfall, models huge snow animals with help from neighborhood children, “and soon there were snow rhinos and lions, a snow crocodile, and a snow camel, too.” The same children make Adam’s entry into school easier (another hint about Adam’s background is the headscarf his mother wears when she takes him to school). When he discovers that he is interested in his school’s garden, his friends help him build gardens all over the city. Free from conflict and tension, the story imagines a city supportive of immigrants and ready to befriend them. Soft, smiling figures and a bright palette convey gentle acceptance. Foreman doesn’t preach; he simply shows people at their best. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)