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Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy
Tulika Books, 2010/Groundwood Books 2012

Ages 4-8

In this delightful picture book, a small gesture has enormous consequences through future generations when a small boy finds a tree seedling in the middle of a path and puts some stones around it to protect it. As time goes by, the tree grows and becomes a landmark, a meeting-place. The path changes its course to go round the tree. It becomes a road and then a major thoroughfare, with urban spread growing up around it. Meanwhile, we see the boy become a young man, a father and a grandfather...

With a simple but lively text and and vibrant, boldly delineated illustrations, Out of the Way! Out of the Way! is a wonderful book for introducing young children to the notion of the passage of time, both backwards through history and forwards into the future, while providing plenty of fun along its busy way.


Read our review of the book.
Read our interview with Uma Krishnaswami.
View Uma Krishnaswamy's PaperTigers Gallery feature.

Uma Krishnaswami's website:, includes downloadable Activity Kit.
Uma Krishnaswami's blog "Writing with a Broken Tusk":
Groundwood Books' website:
Tulika Books' website:


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Yuko-Chan and the Daruma DollYuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village

Written and illustrated by Sunny Seki
Tuttle Publishing, 2012
Ages 5-11

Set 200 years ago in the village of Takasaki, 90 miles from Tokyo, Japan, this is an imaginative retelling of the origins of the Daruma Doll, a renowned symbol of wishes awaiting fulfillment. Here, the popular symbol of fulfilled wishes was invented by a feisty little girl, Yuko-Chan, a blind orphan who is cared for by the monks at Daruma Temple. She has learned about the teachings of the Buddhist monk Daruma. Following a severe earthquake, Yuko-Chan is determined to do something to help her village and inspired by Daruma, she hits on the very thing... And it is poetically appropriate that this vision-impaired little girl should resolve a village crisis with goal-inspiring, blank-eyed Daruma dolls.


Read our review of the book.
Read our interview with Sunny Seki.
View Sunny Seki's artwork in our PaperTigers Gallery.

Sunny Seki's website:
Tuttle Publishing's website:

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The Good GardenThe Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough

Written by Katie Smith Milway
Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault
CitizenKid, Kids Can Press, 2010
Ages 8+

Based on true events and real people in Honduras, this is the inspiring story of how a girl María Luz's life, and then her whole community's, is transformed when a new teacher Don Elías arrives at her school and introduces the children to gardening. As children bring their newly learned skills home, families' see their impoverished land begin to flourish again, encouraging a deeper commitment to sustainable farmong methods. As well as growing food to eat and sell, the whole community is able to break free from the clutches of exploitative middle men; and the results are not just practical , as renewed connection with the land encourages a deeper spirituality.

María Luz's engaging story is beautifully written and illustrated, and the narrative content is balanced with in-depth articles that provide factual and historical information for those who want to know more.


Read our interview with Katie Smith Milway.

Kids Can Press website:

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Drawing from Memory

by Allen Say
Scholastic Press, 2011
Ages 8+

Impossible to categorise, this part picture-book, part graphic novel, part scrap-book tells the story of Allen Say's childhood in Japan up to the age of eighteen, when he left for America. When he was twelve, Say moved into his own appartment and was able to keep his apprenticeship to a famous cartoonist a secret from his family.

Throughout the book, Say provides many vivid portraits: as well as his family, Sensei and fellow-apprentice Tokida, there is his art teacher Miss Goldfish, and her former pupil Orito-san, who taught Say karate alongside how to draw from classical sculpture. And through it all is the self-portrait of a young man: his determination to be an artist no matter what, set against a complex family background and the cultural context of post-war Japan.

The story of Say’s childhood is a compelling one. It is fitting that, as an artist, he should tell it through pictures as well as words, and in so doing, Say has created a masterpiece that enthralls its readers young and old.

Read our review of the book.
Read our interview with Allen Say.
Visit Allen Say's PaperTigers Gallery.
Read an interview with Andrea Pinkney, President and Executive Editor with Scholastic Trade.

Scholastic Trade website:

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