Friday, January 14, 2011

The Curious Garden

The Curious Garden. Peter Brown. 2009. Little, Brown. 40 pages.

There once was a city without gardens or trees or greenery of any kind. Most people spent their time indoors. As you can imagine, it was a very dreary place.
However, there was one boy who loved being outside. Even on drizzly days, while everyone else stayed inside, you could always find Liam happily splashing through his neighborhood.
It was on one such morning that Liam made several surprising discoveries.

Can a garden thrive in the city? Can a garden grow in unforgotten places and spaces? Can a little boy start a love-nature movement and change the landscape of an entire city? You might enjoy reading Peter Brown's The Curious Garden. It is about a little boy who "discovers" wildflowers and other plants growing on an abandoned railroad track. He decides that he wants to make this place his own--he wants to be the gardener, the caretaker, of this little green space. Especially since it's such a contrast to the drab gray environment of the city. The book follows this "garden" through several seasons.

I was not a big fan of this one. But I think that could be just me.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers


  1. This one has been on the TBR for a long time. It moves to the top and then I shuffle the deck. Couldn't put my finger on why ... obviously there's something to that 6th sense. Thanks Becky.

  2. This is actually one of my favorite picture books. My son wanted me to read it to his class on his birthday. I think part of the reason they loved it was because of the whimsical ways the garden becomes part of the city. It was inspired by Highline Park in Manhattan, a beautiful public space.

    But it's true that not every book is loved by every person. I, for example, cannot stand Dr. Seuss, putting me firmly in the minority!

  3. This is one our favorites as well. I love the illustrations. I think it sends a great message that even one person starting in one small corner of their own world can bring about big things.
    And Storied Cities, I'm right there with you about Dr. Seuss.