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Monday, May 5, 2014

Another excellent picture book you have probably never heard of

Trottier, Maxine; Arsenault, Isabelle (2011) Migrant  Toronto:  Groundwood Books

 
This is a book about migrant workers that probably isn't quite what you might expect.  These migrant workers look European rather than from South or Central America (a reminder that almost every culture has, at some point in its history, been migrant workers).  Young Anna is too small to work in the fields, but when she waits at home of the workers to come home at the end of a very long day, she does a lot of thinking.  She compares her life to that of a bird, a rabbit, a bee, a kitten, and a cricket.  Reading between the lines, the reader can understand that she sometimes wishes she had a permanent place to live -- maybe with a bike that is her own.   
     This would be a great book for teaching kindergarteners and first graders (and actually older kids too) about what it feels like to be a migrant worker.  It also has excellent extended metaphors.  It would be an excellent book for teaching metaphor o almost any age.
     The illustrations are wonderful -- the edges get sort of fuzzy when Anna is imaging.  I will confess that rosy red cheeks kind of bug me a bit (Anna seems more real than that to me) -- but overall it is a beautiful book.

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