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. (Picture book. 4-8)