Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of the Garden

I love gardening. It combines several things I enjoy; beauty, nature, nurturing, and getting dirty. We recently added a "Garden" category to the subject book bins and there is a small subset of gardening picture books that I wanted to showcase this morning. These four books show the transformative power of gardens in a bleak universe; they are powerful messages beautifully told.

The Flower,
by John Light, ill. by Lisa Evans starts with a boy discovering a forbidden book about flowers, which leads him to a forbidden packets of seeds, and from there flowers begin to grow everywhere.

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown features another nature-less world in which another small boy finds a tiny patch of green and nurtures it into a beautiful garden while at the same time bringing together a community.

The Tin Forest, by Helen Ward, ill. by Wayne Anderson features an old man who similarly lives in a bleak future. He constructs his garden from metal, crafting flowers and animals as sculptures, but eventually a real garden grows around his creation.

And finally, in The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart, ill. by David Small, a young girl is sent to live with her relatives in the city during the Depression. Missing her home and garden, she sets out to create a garden in the city and in the process cheers up the community.

All four books are beautifully illustrated as well as beautifully told. They are all available at our library. Enjoy!

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