The Neighborhood Surprise
Author & Illustrator: Sarah van Dongen
Publisher: Tiny Owl Press
Van Dongen’s gorgeous illustrations immediately draw you in to this multicultural neighborhood wherein a much loved neighbor is “moving out.” Taken aback by this revelation, Koya and her friends Hassan and Alex want to show their friend Mrs. Fig how much they care about her before she moves out of her home. So, they devise a surprise party in their honor.
The bulk of the book is dedicated to how the neighborhood rallies, each family making a vegan or vegetarian dish, in honor of Mrs. Fig who is vegetarian. The sequencing is strong throughout, focusing on varied families (my particular favorite focusing on a father baking a cake with his child!). The book culminates with a lovely street party in Mrs. Fig’s honor; and, a surprising revelation!
Van Dongen provides an author/illustrator note explaining the terms vegan and vegetarian. You may want to read through the note before reading it out-loud, as carnivores (and perhaps even some vegans/vegetarians may object to the definitional standards). The note, in any event, does not detract from a simply lovely book!
My thanks to Tiny Owl Press for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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