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Anansi & Groundwood Gift Catalogue

Tokyo Digs a Garden
By (author): Jon-Erik Lappano Illustrated by: Kellen Hatanaka
Jon-Erik Lappano ,

Illustrated by :

Kellen Hatanaka


Groundwood Books - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Picture book, Paper over boards
Hardcover , Picture book, Paper over boards


Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 7, Grade (US) P - 3
Mar 01, 2016
$18.95 CAD


11in x 8.38 x 0.44 in | 1 lb

Page Count:

40 pages


Full-color throughout
Groundwood Books Ltd
Groundwood Books
JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / Environment
TD Summer Reading Club Top Recommended Reads 2016, Commended Governor General's Literary Award, Young People's Literature – Illustrated Books 2016, Winner Toronto Public Library's First and Best List 2016, Commended CCBC Best Books for Children and Teens, starred selection 2016, Commended CBC Best Books of 2016 2016, Commended Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award 2016, Short-listed Green Earth Book Award 2017, Long-listed TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2017, Short-listed Sakura Award 2017, Short-listed
  • Short Description
Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. Will they ever experience the natural world again?

Winner of the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature — Illustrated Books

Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again?

One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?

With Tokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka have created a thoughtful and inspiring fable of environmentalism and imagination.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.

Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

JON-ERIK LAPPANO’s debut picture book, Tokyo Digs a Garden, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and Japan’s Sakura Medal. He has also written Maggie’s Treasure, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, to wide acclaim, and Song for the Snow, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler. Jon-Erik lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his family.

Kellen Hatanaka is a designer and illustrator who lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife, Kiersten. He is also the author and illustrator of Work: An Occupational ABC.

. . . a thing of beauty. - The New York Times

...fantastic...Highly recommended - Andrew Kaufman, Globe and Mail

The text is neither too simple nor too complex but just what is needed to relate this imaginative tale of environmentalism. - School Library Journal, review

A challenging 21st-century fable sure to spark discussions. - Kirkus Reviews

TOKYO DIGS A GARDEN will resonate with many urban children and their parents who may seek the rural outdoors whenever possible. - CM Magazine

In this haunting modern-day fairy tale from newcomer Lappano, nature, long pushed out of a city, pushes back. - Publishers Weekly

The resulting absolutely delightful sustainability-manifesto is made even more stupendous with Hatanaka’s witty, entertaining, sly illustrations . . . - BookDragon

Kids of all ages will respond to the deep messages embedded in the fertile soil of Tokyo Digs A Garden. - Midwest Book Review

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