Books·Canadian

A Long Way Home

A picture book by Jean Little, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard.

Jean Little, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

A warm story about friendship and migration from the incomparable Jean Little.

Jane and Maya are very different. Maya is a quiet girl and a refugee, new to this country, while chatty and outgoing Jane has lived in the same place her whole life. The girls become instant friends. When they learn about endangered species in school, they decide to do their own small part to help by supporting migrating monarch butterflies.

Together they plant a milkweed garden to feed and shelter the tiny creatures, then watch in amazement as a monarch hatches and grows before leaving on the long journey to Mexico. After all the butterflies have departed, Maya shares her own migration story — her family's long journey to Canada. Maya wishes the monarchs safety in their new home too.

In her heartwarming final story, Jean Little weaves a simple tale of childhood curiosity into larger themes of immigration, friendship and the wonder of the natural world.

A true gift of a story from a Canadian treasure. (From Scholastic Canada)

A Long Way Home is for ages for 4 to 8.

Iconic Canadian children's writer Jean Little died on April 6, 2020. Little had published over 50 books, including Dancing Through the SnowMama's Going to Buy You a MockingbirdFrom Anna and Orphan at My Door Little was born to doctors who were medical missionaries in Taiwan on Jan. 2, 1932. She was one of four children. Her family returned to Canada when she was seven, in 1939. Her first book was Mine for Keeps, which was published in 1962. It told the story of a nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.

Gabrielle Grimard is an author and illustrator from Quebec. She wrote and illustrated the picture books Lila and the Crow and Nutcracker Night and illustrated the books Stolen Words by Melanie Florence and The Magic Boat by Kit Pearson and Katherine Farris.

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