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Pat Brisson is the author of the Christopher Award-winning The Summer My Father Was Ten and the author of the "Kate" books--Your Best Friend, Kate; Kate Heads West; and Kate on the Coast. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, with her husband and their four sons. Maryann Cocca-Leffler is the illustrator and author of Bus Route to Boston and Clams All Year. She lives ini Amherst, New Hampshire.
K-Gr 2-Wanda finds a thorny bush in a vacant lot and decides that it must be a rosebush that needs a little attention. She thinks about it, does library research, and tends the plant regularly, as various neighbors stop by and attempt gently to talk the child out of her rosy hopes. A month of watering, waiting, and clearing away surrounding trash brings no blooms; undaunted, Wanda attaches paper flowers to her special bush and invites the neighbors to a tea party to see the ``rose garden.'' Cocca-Leffler's droll and friendly gouache and colored-pencil illustrations show a parade of six neighbors of various ages, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds on their way to the party, each bearing a blooming rosebush for the hostess. This story of one person's faith against all odds and a caring community is told simply and with good humor.-Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Brisson ( Your Best Friend, Kate ) creates a lovable new character whose unwavering optimism transforms a rubbish-ridden vacant lot into a rose garden. Convinced that a bare thornbush is really a rosebush about to bloom, Wanda exuberantly cleans up the lot so that the bush will get more sun and air. ``You'll see,'' she says, ``in a few weeks that whole lot will be full of roses.'' Wanda's neighbors are skeptical: ``If that's a rosebush, then I'm the queen of England,'' one thinks to herself; ``If that's a rosebush, then I'm the king of France,'' the next muses privately. Still, charmed by the girl's enthusiasm, they all help her. After a month without blooms but with much camaraderie, Wanda's neighbors contribute rosebushes, and ``the whole lot was filled with the biggest, most beautiful, sweetest-smelling roses that anyone had ever seen--just as Wanda had always said it would be.'' Cheery watercolors complement this upbeat urban tale, genially depicting the city's great variety, from a chubby butcher to a kindly old woman with nylon knee highs rolled down around her ankles. Ages 4-8. (May)
"This story of one person's faith against all odds and a caring community is told simply with good humor." - School Library Journal "(A) pleasant story, with lively dialog and cheerful illustrations." - Kirkus Reviews "Brisson creates a lovable new character whose unwavering optimism transforms a rubbish-ridden vacant lot into a rose garden." - Publishers Weekly