Wanda's Roses

written by Pat Brisson, illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Wanda mistakes a thornbush for a rose bush but involves the whole community into creating a rose garden in the vacant lot.

Wanda finds a thorny bush in a vacant lot and decides that it must be a rosebush that needs a little attention. A month of watering, waiting, and clearing away surrounding trash brings no blooms; undaunted, Wanda attaches paper flowers to her special bush and invites the neighbors to a tea party to see the "rose garden." The neighbors of various ages, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds arrive, most bearing a blooming rosebush. A caring community is a wonderful byproduct of Wanda's work toward her goal. The cheerful gouache and colored pencil illustrations enliven this simple urban tale.