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The Curious Garden Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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* "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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! Bought it for my preschool class for our Garden theme week and he kids loved it! The pictures are bright and colorful !!Published 1 month ago by laura
This is my son's favorite book. This copy is a gift for a friend.Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Mencke
A boy discovers a strange thing in his bleak, grey city: a tiny garden, creating itself out of nothing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Skye Kilaen
I love this book! I work with beginning (1st and 2nd year) high school teachers to help them study their practice. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jolin
One of the great stories by Peter Brown. Not only is there true information about a lost place in time, but also a lesson taught about caring for the little things and the impact... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer