The Animal Hedge

By Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator); Paul Fleischman
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763616069, 48pp.)

Publication Date: August 11, 2003

List Price: $16.99*
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Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman’s testament to vision, passion, and destiny is beautifully complemented by folk art-inspired paintings by the virtuoso Bagram Ibatoulline.

There once lived a farmer whose heart
glowed like a hot wood stove with the love of animals.

No one loved animals more than the farmer. All day long, he and his three sons toiled on the farm, singing while they worked. The eldest son favored coachman’s songs; the second son, songs of the sea; the youngest son, tunes about a traveling fiddler; and the farmer, always, songs of the barnyard. But when a terrible drought befalls the land, the farmer must sell his livestock and move to a tiny cottage with only a hedge around it. Though he is heartbroken to lose his animals, he and his sons soon discover something remarkable about their hedge - and something unique about each person who trims its branches.

About the Author

Paul Fleischman is the award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including JOYFUL NOISE: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES, winner of the Newbery Medal; DATELINE: TROY, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults; and WESLANDIA, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. He lives in the town of Aromas, California. "Growing up in Santa Monica, California," he recalls, "I used to walk past a hedge trimmed into animal shapes. I felt sure there was a story in that hedge - all I had to do was look for it, then trim it into shape."

Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Russia, graduated from the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow, and has worked in the fields of fine arts, graphic arts, mural design, and textile design. He has illustrated CROSSING by Philip Booth, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, and THE NIGHTINGALE by Hans Christian Andersen as retold by Stephen Mitchell. He says, "As I was working on THE ANIMAL HEDGE, I was most influenced by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American folk art. I appreciate the naiveté of those untrained painters."

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