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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Florette, wirtten and illustrated by Anna Walker. Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Raincoast, 2018. $23.99 ages 5 and up

"Mae was tired of those boxes.

Down below, people moved like ants winding through the streets. Beyond them, Mae spied an open space. A space with trees and a swing. When Mae's mother was ready to go out, Mae ran downstairs and led the way on a new path. She turned the corner and ... "

Moving can be a very traumatic experience. Mae's family has made the move from an idyllic countryside life to a new apartment and crowded city streets. Mae misses her garden, and can't see any room for the trees and flowers she so loves. Despite searching, she finds little to make her feel settled and happy. She misses her friends, the birds, and finding treasures to keep for herself.  

A courtyard provides space for chalk drawing ... imaginary flowers, insects and butterflies. Rain soon erases those memories. She creates a flower-filled indoor space by decorating the moving boxes, preparing a space for a picnic ... that is no more successful. Boxes topple, the tea spills and Mae is irritated enough to get out with her mother to try and find an outdoor play space. An empty park with empty chairs. On they go. When she spots an 'apple-tree' bird, she is quick to follow it.

Too soon, the bird flies through a tiny window and into a large, leafy florist shop named Florette. Lush and inviting, it is discouraging to learn that it is closed. After a long wait, Mae is thrilled to discover 'a small green sprout peeking through a gap' ... "  It offers hope and provides joy. It is a new beginning!

The gorgeous watercolor artwork is ideal for telling this winsome story of a little girl lost until she finds the beauty in one shop inspires her to make a difference for her new home. Beautiful!


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