Tokyo Digs A Garden by Jon-Erik Lappano & Kellen Hatanaka (Groundwood Books)

11215857_10154004532400446_1152809516206378078_nThis is yet another Groundwood Books title that immediately perked our interest.

With it’s highly original content and stylised illustration, we know this will be a text that will be used in many ways, across a varied audience.

From environmentalist Jon-Erik Lappano comes his debut picture book and one which undoubtedly have wide appeal.

13062365_10154004532390446_3685627853437971366_nTokyo Digs A Garden‘ addresses a refreshingly different subject matter and one which can often be overlooked for a younger reader.

Tokyo’s grandfather is reminiscing about how his house used to overlook the rolling hills and meadows, before it was engulfed by the concrete city. Now the house is surrounded by tall buildings, hard lines and dark colours.


Tokyo meets an old woman who offers him three seeds to plant. “They will grow into whatever you wish” she explains.

But what happens when the vegetation grows with wild abandon and starts to take over the city?

The message from Lappano rings clear. Balance is clearly needed and the human race must tread carefully if we are to preserve and live in harmony with our environment.

13083116_10154004532310446_8667817146913356007_nThis book will engage a varied age range and the poignant narrative will strike a chord with all readers.

Kellen Hatanaka‘s use of flat, simplistic, linear shapes and bold zingy colours, provide the perfect accompaniment to such an emotive topic. His clever execution of abstract shapes even transfers to almost featureless faces.

A refreshing environmentally conscious read for younger children which offers a chance to reflect on the future and the role we play within that.

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