Any children’s book about gardening and plants attracts my eye but Peter Brown’s The Curious Garden had a special appeal. The story is simple but can be used to explore many different values that a parent may wish to impart. It has a message but the readers can do with it what they want, including ignore it and the story is still charming. The illustrations add another whole layer of understanding and meaning to the text and provide opportunities to expand and enjoy the content of the book.
A curious little boy named Liam lives in a dingy city filled with smoke and devoid of trees or greenery. He finds a deserted railway where a few wildflowers and other plants are struggling, and nurtures them as they form a garden and begin to spread. Ultimately, the plants fill the city with color and life and make the city a better place to live.
Based on the history of the Highline, an elevated railway on the west side of Manhattan, Brown’s story is a celebration of the how plants and gardening enrich our lives. Children can identify with the hero, Liam, who is thoughtful, diligent, and sensitive, as well as appreciate the dramatic change Liam brings in the appearance of the city. A good book for children as young as three as the illustrations can stand on their own to tell the story.
To buy The Curious Garden from Amazon.com click here.