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Gem    by Holly Hobbie order for
by Holly Hobbie
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The title of Holly Hobbie's new picture books sums it up perfectly; it's a gem! The entirely visual story is book-ended by letters between a grandmother and granddaughter as they share memories of a spring day when Hope 'discovered a small wonder in the garden.'

Gram wants to tell Hope what happened to the small toad, sharing 'the story of Gem's spring journey - all the way to my garden.' The book took Gram all winter to make and 'warmed the coldest days'.

Each beautifully illustrated pair of pages show a location for Gem and him hopping away from it - as well as the dangers he survives. He escapes the wheels of a car, a long hike up a dirt road, parenthood, and a hungry hawk, before a little girl picks him up - and then sets him free in her Gram's garden.

Young Hope appreciates her Gram's gift - and the love that comes with it. Gem is a charming picture book, with lots inside it to explore with a child, about the beauties - and perils - of nature, and the gems that can be discovered all around us.

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