Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Imaginary Garden


Larsen, Andrew. 2009. The Imaginary Garden. Illustrations by Irene Luxbacher. Kids Can Press.

The Imaginary Garden is charming and lovely and endearing. But not in a sickeningly sweet and syrupy way. I'm not saying that. I'm saying it in the feels-so-good-and-right-and-true way. Here's how it starts off: "Theo loved Poppa's old house. She loved Poppa's old garden. Poppa used to tell Theo all about the different flowers while they sat together under the maple tree." But Poppa isn't living in his old house. And his new apartment doesn't have a garden. But it does have a balcony. Can this grandfather-granddaughter team create a garden for the balcony? They just might if it's an "imaginary" one.

See this imaginary garden take shape as these two paint their way through spring and summer. As these two continue to spend time together, more than imaginary flowers will blossom.

This book is satisfying. It just feels good to read it. To witness such lovable characters come to life. The art by Irene Luxbacher is practically perfect. It adds just the right touch to this tale of love and hope and new life.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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