A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard.
Khalil lives in the upstairs apartment with his family, which is big and busy and noisy. Downstairs lives Mr. Hagerty, who is quiet. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty don’t appear to have a lot in common, but hot summer days have a way of bringing people together. As Khalil looks for buried treasure in the yard, Mr. Hagerty tends to his garden. Both help each other navigate language — whether it be learning new words or remembering those seemingly forgotten. Before long, an unlikely friendship is born, full of treasure, thoughtfulness, and chocolate cake. Through well-cultivated details and vibrant cut-paper collage, author Tricia Springstubb and illustrator Elaheh Taherian nurture a heart-tugging tribute to the love of good neighbors and to the strength of intergenerational and intercultural bonds.
About the Author
Tricia Springstubb is the author of Phoebe and Digger, illustrated by Jeff Newman, and the Cody series, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, as well as several other children’s books. She is a former children’s librarian at a public library in Ohio.
Elaheh Taherian graduated with an MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and also has an MFA from Art University in Tehran, Iran. The illustrator of several children books, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Readers will pore over striking, detailed illustrations in a collage with oil and charcoal...Children will be eager to see what happens next. A perfect read-aloud book for storytime. —School Library Journal (starred review)
Elaheh Taherian’s paper-cut collage illustrations seem to pop off the page, and add an element of whimsy to this wonderful story about making friends, no matter how old or young you are. This story would be a great recommendation for people seeking nonfamilial intergenerational stories. —Booklist
Taherian’s illustrations—collage with oil and colored pencil—strengthen the focus on the relationship between Mr. Hagerty and Khalil, revealing little details...These careful glimpses give readers space to build their own backstories for Springstubb’s endearing characters. Khalil and his family have olive skin, and Mr. Hagerty presents white. A sweet and simple story about an intergenerational friendship and the bond between neighbors. —Kirkus Reviews
In pencil, oil, and collage spreads, illustrator Taherian builds out a layered garden as well as two abodes whose backgrounds hint at the way each friend fills the other’s loneliness. Together with Springstubb’s text, it makes for an affectionate rendering of friendship as a wonderful and unexpected surprise. —Publishers Weekly