Jasmine’s garden is glorious, a cornucopia of “apples and apricots, kiwis and kumquats, papayas, peaches and passion fruit.” The only problem is that the fruit keeps disappearing during the night. Jasmine’s curiosity leads her to The Elephant’s Garden (Boxer, $16.95), where the fruit is not only enormous, but seems to be carved from precious jewels. A comical chain of events involving her extended family—and maybe a little bit of greed— ensues; but, ultimately, everyone is satisfied with the delectable fruit from Jasmine’s own garden. This retelling of an Indian folktale, both written and gorgeously illustrated by Jane Ray, is sure to elicit a smile and make one’s mouth water. Ages 3-6.
You don’t have to be a football fan to thoroughly enjoy Steve Sheinkin’s latest deep dive into history, Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team (Roaring Brook, $19.99). The award-winning author addresses three diverse, yet uniquely related, topics: the engrossing biography of Olympian Jim Thorpe; the implementation of the forward pass, which added finesse and strategy to American football; and, most importantly, the dehumanizing assimilation program that was forced upon Native American children by a government determined to wipe out their cultural heritage. Social activists, armchair athletes, and history buffs alike will not want to miss this gold medal of a book. Ages 11-14.
Old is new again with three familiar tales which are certain to delight fans of all ages. In the 25th Anniversary Edition of Farmer Duck (Candlewick, $16.99 HB/$6.99 PB) by Martin Waddell, a beleaguered duck grudgingly endures his lazy farmer’s incessant question, “How goes the work?” Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations humorously depict the duck’s angst and ultimate triumph with the unexpected departure of his indolent nemesis. Ages 4-7.