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|On the other side of the garden|
Author: Buitrago, Jairo
When her father leaves her at her grandmother's house, a young girl feels abandoned and lonely. And she hardly remembers her grandmother. After going up to her room she decides to venture out into the nighttime garden where she meets an owl, a frog and a mouse. They take her on a tour of her extraordinary new world.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/18)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/18)
The Hornbook (00/07/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2018 PreS-Gr 1—The pair that created Walk With Me present a new exploration of coping with the absence of parents. A girl is deposited at her grandmother's country house by her father. While the woman appears reserved, objects in the girl's assigned bedroom foreshadow the identities of three creatures that will become friends—thereby suggesting a grandma in-the-know. The digital illustrations are initially rendered almost entirely in a dark blue/green and white palette. Quiet spots of color help readers to focus on the knowledgeable owl, curious frog, and hungry mouse that invite the youngster for a moonlit walk in the garden. The first person account, presented in a compact but capacious sentence or two per page, eventually reveals more about the protagonist's mum—who "went to live and work in another country" and her father, who is looking for employment. In sharing their perspective, the animals help the girl see her guardian as a lonely, kind person, and in the warm light of a full color morning, Grandmother welcomes her with hugs and nourishment. Buitrago and Yockteng exhibit a keen understanding of a child's interior life. VERDICT Those who feel physically or emotionally distant from beloved adults will take comfort in the idea that there are others who care. A subtle and affecting journey to resilience best shared one-on-one to pore over the spectacular artwork.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2018 Isabel’s father drives her from the big city to her grandmother’s home in the country, where she is to stay while he looks for work. On her first night, three animals appear—an owl, a frog, and a food-obsessed mouse—and they take her on a moonlit walk in the countryside. She talks to them about her parents’ separation and the city she came from, while they tell her about her grandmother’s kindness and the country landscape. The digital illustrations, which appear hand-drawn in a scratchboard method, are in a blue palette with the animals and the girl’s nightgown the only other colors. As a new day dawns and Isabel’s sadness begins to lift, the colors come alive, symbolizing hope and optimism about her new life with her grandmother. Observant readers will notice the owl-decorated bedspread, a frog planter, and the picture on the wall of two mice and a hunk of cheese, which will generate the question: Reality or dream? A hopeful book about a child’s confusion and fear of abandonment. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.