The books I've shared during 2021 Earth Week have stressed the significance of generational values and shared practices, of traditions, of commitment. That is true for both picture books by the Pumphrey brothers, THE OLD TRUCK and THE OLD BOAT. Then two picture books titled OCEAN SOUP, about ocean environments, support the significance of learning about and acting on specific issues, across generations. If you missed either of these posts I hope you''ll click and check them out.
Moving forward, today I'm declaring GARDENING day. This time of year there is an almost primal impulse to sow seeds, to feel the soil under our feet and in our fingers. Offering kids an opportunity to plant and grow a seed is a priceless gift, even if it is simply a sunflower seed in a paper cup. And yet the reality is that the REAL thrill of gardening is the return on investment of labor and love and relationships spent in gardens. Time and experiences often shared across generations.
I had to wait a bit to read this one, since it was backed up on my library hold. That should tell you something about it. Here's what Kirkus had to say in their starred review:
"Over the years, a little girl pays many visits to her nana’s house and garden...As the seasons cycle, the girl and her mother continue to visit and, increasingly, to help her nana in the “lovely and wild” garden....There is so much beauty in this heartwarming story. Written in rhyming couplets, the simple text flows smoothly. The stunning, delicate illustrations fill in the gaps left by the text, depicting the charm of the garden, Nana’s aging, the family’s emotions, and the girl’s growth. The artwork provides a wonderful display of three—and then four—generations and the love they share. The girl and mother have brown skin and long, black hair while Nana has paler brown skin and white hair...A beautiful, touching story of a family’s love and loss, the garden both metaphor and place of healing." (Kirkus Starred review)
|Starbright Books, 2016|
This story is written and illustrated with the tenderness of watercress leaves, but supports each gentle page of the story and the story-within-the-story on a foundation of resilience, love, and appreciation. Highly recommended for all ages and readers, with a special boost as mentor text to very young writers of "small moments" and adult writers of picture book stories with layers of heart and soul and reflection.