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Written by Maxine Trottier

Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

  • 40 Pages
  • 9780888999757
  • 8.75" x 9.5"
  • Reading age from 4 to 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Family / General (see also headings under Social Situations)
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Mexico


Publication Date March 05, 2011

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011, an Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Honour Book, and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration and Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards: Picture Book

Each spring Anna leaves her home in Mexico and travels north with her family where they will work on farms. Sometimes she feels like a bird, flying north in the spring and south in the fall. Sometimes she feels like a jack rabbit living in an abandoned burrow, as her family moves into an empty house near the fields. But most of all she wonders what it would be like to stay in one place.

The Low German-speaking Mennonites from Mexico are a unique group of migrants who moved from Canada to Mexico in the 1920s and became an important part of the farming community there. But it has become increasingly difficult for them to earn a livelihood, and so they come back to Canada each year as migrant workers in order to survive. And while they currently have the right to work in Canada, that right may be challenged. Working conditions are difficult for all migrant workers, most of whom have to leave families far behind. And yet countries like Canada and the United States benefit greatly from their labor.

Beautifully written by Maxine Trottier and imaginatively illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, this book describes what it is like to be a child in a migrant family.

Winner of the 2012 Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award 2012

Winner of the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award Honour Book 2012

Short-listed for the Governor General's Award: Illustration 2011

Selected for the New York Times Best Illustrated 2011

Selected for the ALA Notable Chilren's Books List 2012

Selected for the 2012 USBBY Outstanding International Book 2012

Short-listed for the 6th Annual ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award. 2012

Short-listed for the Ruth and Syliva Schwartz Children's Picture Book Award 2012


Maxine Trottier
Maxine Trottier has written many award-winning children’s books, including The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing (Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children), Claire’s Gift (Mr. Christie’s Book Award), Sister to the Wolf (Society of School Librarians International Honor Book) and Under a Shooting Star (Geoffrey Bilson Award Finalist). She was inspired to write Migrant after spending summers in Leamington, Ontario, where she encountered many Mennonites from Mexico.

Isabelle Arsenault
Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator who has won an impressive number of awards and has achieved international recognition. She has illustrated Migrant by Maxine Trottier, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, winner of the Governor General’s Award; Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin by Marie-Danielle Croteau, winner of the Governor General’s Award; and My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She has also illustrated Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol and Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, forthcoming from Groundwood. Isabelle has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running. She lives with her family in Montreal.


Star Review

"The words and images could stand alone as feats of artistic excellence. Together, they form a package that should become a staple for kids learning about Canada’s diverse population." Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

""...moving, inventive and thoughtful..."" Kirkus Reviews

"Separating this work from other children's books about migration and work is the focus on Mexico's Mennonite community and the issues faced by some of its members in Canada and Mexico." Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

"Without a heavy message, this sensitive offering captures a small child’s experience of constant upheaval as she flies like a feather in the wind." Booklist

"...a wonderful addition to any book collection..." CM Magazine

"...poignant..." Canadian Children's Book News

"Migrant does a rare thing in children’s books of this type: it teaches without being pedantic" 32 Pages

"The illustrations...will grab the attention of those sharing this book." Sal's Fiction Addiction

"New York Times Top 10 Book of the year, 2011." The New York Times Book Review

"Lyrical metaphors comparing Anna to various animals reveal her connection to nature, her vivid imagination, and her heartfelt desire to feel more settled." Language Arts