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The Curious Garden Hardcover – April 1, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

The Curious Garden + Children Make Terrible Pets (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear) + YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear)
Price for all three: $51.98

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316015474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316015479
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A quietly marvelous picture book... Echoing the themes of The Secret Garden, it is an ecological fable, a whimsical tale celebrating perseverance and creativity."—The New York Times

* "A quiet but stirring fable of urban renewal, sure to capture imaginations."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "The art is spectacular and the book might inspire children to engage in small projects to improve their own neighborhoods."—School Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including Children Make Terrible Pets and The Curious Garden. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year. Peter's website is www.peterbrownstudio.com.

More About the Author

Peter Brown writes and illustrates books for young whippersnappers. He grew up in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he spent his time imagining and drawing silly characters. He studied Life Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks, and then got his B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

After college Peter moved to Brooklyn, New York and spent several years painting backgrounds for animated TV shows. And then in 2003 he got a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book FLIGHT OF THE DODO, which is a story that involves bird poop...in case you're into that kind of thing. Since then he's written and illustrated three more picture books, and illustrated several other books for young whippersnappers. His books have been adapted into plays and animated short films, they have been translated into a dozen languages, and they include the 2010 E.B. White award winner, Children's Choice Award winner, and New York Times bestselling books THE CURIOUS GARDEN.

His books CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS, YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! and his latest book, CREEPY CARROTS! are also New York Times bestsellers and award winners. CREEPY CARROTS! written by Aaron Reynolds has also been named a 2013 Caldecott Honor book.

You can find out more about Peter and his books at peterbrownstudio.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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My 4 1/2 year old son absolutely loves this book.
Joboe
This is a beautiful book with a message of hope and an aura of joy surrounding a little boy who loves his garden.
D. Fowler
The illustrations are beautifully drawn, the story is simple and touching.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Synnott on March 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The "curious garden" is absolutely beautiful as it wends it's way around a drab, brown city. My 4 year old son (who also happens to be named Liam), loves pouring over the full spread illustrations of the garden. And I love the message of spreading a little green in the world.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Love2Travel on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just absolutely love this book. The illustrations are beautiful. Almost real and surreal at the same time.
Well written and simple but with a strong message - community, caring for the environment, growth, spreading the good and passing it forward.

We saw the author and he is just adorable. I love the books even more knowing that this guy wrote them and illustrated them. He is just hilarious and charming and really good with kids...hmmm.. wonder if he has a girlfriend...I digress.

It really is a great book. Good for families and great in classrooms.His other books are also topnotch. Illustrations are what makes them great.
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113 of 141 people found the following review helpful By T. Jonker on April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hello! My name is Mr. Message. You probably know me from my countless appearances in books, especially the "for children" variety. It's my job to expose a universal truth or support a cause. Sometimes I even tell the reader how they should act. As you may know, I can be controversial.

Sometimes, people get upset when authors make it really clear that I'm coming to the party. They put me front and center, and the story takes a back seat. Hey, I can be preachy if that's what the author wants! I don't always raise a stink, though. Occasionally, authors cleverly sneak me into a story, making as little disruption as possible. The reader hardly knows I'm there.

Then you have an author like Peter Brown (Chowder, Flight of the Dodo) and his book The Curious Garden. In this book I tell kids that caring for the environment makes a better world. Peter somehow manages to to make me the center of attention, yet not so preachy that it feels like readers are learning a lesson. There's a kind of take-it-or-leave-it nonchalance that I quite like.

The story is about a red-haired boy named Liam. He lives in a dreary town without a plant to speak of. No trees, no flowers, nothing but cement and smog. One day Liam happens upon a staircase which leads to the abandoned railroad tracks. What our hero discovers there changes his life. He finds plants. It's not much - some sad looking grass and a few flowers on their deathbeds, but Liam decides to nurse them back to health. As they get better, the vegetation begins to spread, and soon other folks begin to follow Liam's lead. After a while the town, once dingy and gray, is transformed.

While Peter did a great job adding me to the story, his acrylic and gouache illustrations really steal the show.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Louise Alcott on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How perfect that this is coming out now to celebrate Spring! The story and the pictures made me want to share this with my gardening friends as well as the children in my life. Another great book beautifully illustrated by this author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MommyRhiannon on May 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bravo Peter Brown! This book inspires children of all ages to open their eyes & hearts to the natural beauty growing in the most unexpected of places! The illustrations capture the imagination and inject humor into a very important message of loving & nuturing our Mother Earth! Makes a fantastic birthday or holiday present...pair it with a little spade, watering can & a few seed packets! PS-And it's printed on beautiful recycled paper!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Calabrese "Children's Books Examiner" VINE VOICE on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After creating Flight of the Dodo and Chowder, Peter Brown has created a fan base for life. The Curious Garden doesn't disappoint and maintains Brown's charming illustration style.

Brown was inspired to write The Curious Garden because of The High Line, an elevated freight train track on Manhattan's West Side, out of use for nearly three decades. It's a beautiful site smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. Through the efforts of a dedicated community group, the site is now being transformed into a park and promenade, after possible destruction.

In The Curious Garden, a little boy named Liam lives in a drab, brown, smoke-filled city. Liam is the only hint of color with his red hair, red boots, and red umbrella. One day, Liam is out exploring and discovers a stairway leading up to an elevated train track. He stumbles upon a struggling garden and becomes determined to care for it. Liam discovers his green thumb and learns how to become a gardener.

Even when winter comes, Liam uses his time wisely. He reads books on gardening and gathers the tools and skills necessary to bring his secret garden to full bloom. With Liam's tender loving care, the garden spreads throughout the gray city, inspiring others to do a little gardening of their own. Adding to the effect, Brown's illustrations bloom with color as the garden spreads, transforming the dreary city into a lush urban garden.

This whimsical tale encourages young readers that a greener world is possible...one garden at a time. It sends a wonderful message that even though something might seem "useless", if it's tended to and cared for, it can bring new life to an entire community.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BookwormLD on April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book in the Shelf Awareness newsletter and the publisher lists it as being for ages 3-7. This, to me, is in conflict with the listing here on Amazon, which states "Baby-Preschool" and might keep the book from finding its intended audience. Amazon, perhaps this listing needs to be changed?
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