9780763678340The Seeds of Friendship
By Michael Foreman
Illustrated by Michael Foreman
Published by Candlewick Press

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“the story imagines a city supportive of immigrants and ready to befriend them.”
Publishers Weekly


Description
How can Adam bring the green warmth of home to his new urban world? An inspiring fable from Michael Foreman about making friendship grow.

Adam feels alone in the strange new city. He misses his old friends and the colors of his faraway home. It’s fun to build snow animals with children in his new neighborhood, but Adam’s concrete surroundings still make him wish for something more. So when a teacher gives him a few seeds, it plants an idea in him—an idea that could transform his gray world forever.

 

Reviews & Accolades
“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.
Publishers Weekly

“A small, brown boy named Adam loves his new home, a tall building in a big city, but he misses the warmth of the place he is from. He asks his parents for stories from that place, and he fills his walls with drawings of the animals from the stories: elephant and rhino and lion. When the cold ices his apartment-building windows, he draws these animals with his finger in the frost. Adam is delighted with his first glimpse of snow, and when he joins the gaggle of children making a snowman, he encourages them to make snow rhinos and elephants, which they all do. (There’s a bit of a time disconnect when Adam starts at his new school after a few days “when the snowy world had melted,” and the children are in sweatshirts and the school garden is in bright green leaf.) Adam’s teacher gives him seeds to take home, and he and his friends plant them in window boxes, roof pots, and bare patches of the city. The watercolor images are simple and clear, depicting a generic city, an ethnic mix of children, plants and flowers bursting with gentle color. The story leans toward sentimental rather than didactic, and the pleasant calm of the text reflects the geometric pattern of a storybook urban landscape. An immigrant story without angst and with lots of love and hope.
Kirkus Reviews

“The central character of Michael Foreman’s “The Seeds of Friendship” does not struggle with a new language, but his sense of displacement still seems overwhelming. In the opening pages we see it conveyed not through words but through gestures, as he peers from the top-floor window of a nondescript apartment building at the cold, gray urban world below. Nostalgic for the “faraway place where he used to live,” Adam consoles himself with colorful drawings of animals. When the window glass is frosted over, Adam scratches animal shapes into its icy patterns. After a snowfall, Adam observes local children building a snowman and attempts to replicate one of his nostalgic drawings by building a snow elephant. It is a lovely gesture, expressing Adam’s desire to establish himself in his new environment without losing emotional ties to his native land. The neighborhood children join Adam, and “by supper time, the snowman was in charge of a whole snow zoo.” Later we see the gray of Adam’s world become gradually more colorful, page by page, as these same children create gardens at school, at home and even on the roof of Adam’s gray apartment building.”
New York Times Book Review

Groups Represented
African (Unnamed Country of Origin)

Themes
Art Therapy
Community
Multicultural Friendship

Setting
United States

Engagement Projects
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