Groundwood Books Imprint Logo

Rosario's Fig Tree

Written by Charis Wahl

Illustrated by Luc Melanson

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554983421
  • 9.875" x 7.5"
  • from 4 to 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Lifestyles / City Life



Publication Date February 22, 2015

Every spring the little girl who lives next door to Rosario helps him plant vegetables. One spring, Rosario plants a fig tree, which soon bears sweet purple fruit. But when fall comes, he bends it over and buries it in the ground. What kind of magic is Rosario performing?

The next spring, on planting day, the little girl and Rosario make holes for tomato plants, push in stakes for beans and plant other vegetables. Then Rosario begins to unearth the buried fig tree. It looks dead, for sure. But one hot sunny day, a fresh green leaf appears.

Inspired by her next-door neighbor, Charis Wahl has written a sweet and simple story about a little girl’s first-hand experience with the magic of gardening. The story is complemented by Luc Melanson’s gently humorous illustrations.


Charis Wahl
Charis Wahl is an author and editor of books for children and adults. She co-authored Doris McCarthy: My Life and co-edited Love, Hope, Optimism: An Informal Portrait of Jack Layton by Those Who Knew Him. Her next-door neighbor of thirty-five years inspired her to write Rosario’s Fig Tree. She lives in downtown Toronto.

Luc Melanson
Luc Melanson won the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for The Grand Journey of Mr. Man by Gilles Tibo, and he was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for My Great Big Mamma by Olivier Ka, Les Compositeurs by Claudio Ricignuolo and La petite Kim by Kim Yaroshevskaya. He has illustrated many books, including Book of Big Brothers by Cary Fagan, and Pink by Nan Gregory, both finalists for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. Pink was a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. Luc lives in Laval, Quebec.


"A child's wonder at the care it takes to make things grow and the joys of fresh figs make an engaging story." Kirkus Reviews

"Perfect to introduce the wonder of growing things, this title is a recommended general purchase for all libraries." School Library Journal

"Beautifully written in a deceptively simple style. . . . Young readers will learn a great deal from this amazing picture book." CM Magazine

"This sweetly thoughtful story explores life and the wonders of gardening, as well as the edifying nature of intergenerational friendships." Booklist

"This sweet, simple tale of an unusual friendship is a winning choice." Resource Links

"[A] story of cross-cultural neighborliness." New York Times