Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures

khalil and Mr. Hagerty

A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard.

Khalil lives in the upstairs apartment with his family, which is big and busy and noisy. Downstairs lives Mr. Hagerty, who is quiet. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty don’t appear to have a lot in common, but hot summer days have a way of bringing people together. As Khalil looks for buried treasure in the yard, Mr. Hagerty tends to his garden. Both help each other navigate language — whether it be learning new words or remembering those seemingly forgotten.

Before long, an unlikely friendship is born, full of treasure, thoughtfulness, and chocolate cake. Through well-cultivated details and vibrant cut-paper collage, author Tricia Springstubb and illustrator Elaheh Taherian nurture a heart-tugging tribute to the love of good neighbors and to the strength of intergenerational and intercultural bonds.---from the publisher

32 pages                          978-1536203066                             Ages 5-8

Keywords:  friends, friendship, multigenerational, neighbors, summer, diversity, diverse books, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old


“Look at them working in the hot sun

The pilloried saints and the fallen ones

Working and waiting for the night to come

And waiting for a, and waiting for a, and waiting for a miracle”

-- Bruce Cockburn (1987)

“The ground was hard to dig. Khalil found a few things, but not what anyone would call treasure.

Mr. Hagerty dug, too. He found some carrots, but they were small and shriveled.

The word for this was discouraging.

‘We need refreshments,’ said Mr. Hagerty.

Refreshments turned out to mean big pieces of chocolate cake and tall, cold glasses of milk.

Soon, Khalil and Mr. Hagerty both felt much better.

‘Maybe we’ll be luckier tomorrow,’ said Khalil.

‘Maybe,’ said Mr. Hagerty.

Upstairs that night, Khalil had an idea.

Downstairs, so did Mr. Hagerty.”

KHALIL AND MR. HAGERTY AND THE BACKYARD TREASURES is a wonderful intergenerational, multicultural picture book featuring an old man and a young boy.

In a two-family house, Khalil lives upstairs with his big, busy, noisy family. Old Mr. Hagerty lives downstairs, quietly and by himself. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty both enjoy the backyard and are good at sharing it. The old man gardens; the young boy seeks treasures like bugs and interesting rocks.

When Khalil is reading, and gets stuck on a word,.Mr. Hagerty helps him out. When Mr. Hagerty is saying something and can’t recall a word, Khalil helps him out.

One hot day, both have disappointing backyard experiences. That night, they both sneak out and plant treasures for each other.

Elaheh Taherian employs collage, oils, and colored pencils. The backyard is a lush wonderland with rich, brown soil, waves of greenery, big, old ladybugs, and interesting tree bark.

The text and pictures work well together to make this a lovely, satisfying, and touching read for young audiences.

32 pages                            978-1-5362-0306-6                         Ages 4-8

Recommended by:  Richie Partington, MLIS, California, USA

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