"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." - The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
I like big, wide open, green spaces. Land covered with plants, flowers, and trees with blue skies above and butterflies fluttering around. My Brimful Curiosities blog header pretty much proves this point. Guess I'm more of a country girl than a big city girl. However, sometimes green areas - big and beautiful green expanses can exist in unlikely places. Peter Brown in his new book The Curious Garden, shows how.
The Curious Garden is an inspiring story about a little red-headed boy named Liam who stumbles upon an abandoned railroad in the middle of gray, industrial city buildings. Curious, he walks up some stairs and onto the elevated railway bed and discovers a patch of unattended flowers and plants. Though not much of a gardener, he takes it upon himself to tend the greenery. The plants begin to flourish as do Liam’s gardening skills (he even sings to his plants and conducts research during the winter months). The garden spreads throughout the city, revitalizing the once very dreary place. The beauty inspires others lend their hands in creating a lush, green, magical park winding through the bluest of blue skies.
This feel-good, join-hands picture book reminds us that it only takes one small person to do something remarkable and by working together with others amazing things can be achieved. The illustrations by Brown are quite simply magnificent and have a vintage feel to them. As if painting a fairy-tale, Brown takes a dark and dreary place and magically turns it a bright, cheery garden full of life. My daughter has expressed a lot of interest lately in plants since spring arrived. She very much enjoyed watching the garden spread through the book and after reading about Liam, really wants to start growing her own garden, weeds and all.
It is easy to envision this modern day “Secret Garden” filled with hard-work and hope. You can’t imagine how happy I felt after reading the back page of the book where I learned that there is such a place currently under development in New York City called the High Line. Some cities do offer a few neat green spaces. If you are curious enough you'll find them. The Curious Garden - a wonderful Earth Day or any day read!
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 2009); 40 pages; ISBN 9780316015479
Peter Brown - Author/Illustrator Website
High Line (New York City) - Wikipedia
Downloadable The Curious Garden Poster
Enter the Curious Garden Drawing Contest sponsored by Hachette Book Group. Kids ages 3-13: draw a picture of a garden and enter the Curious Garden Contest to win a hardcover copy of The Curious Garden and a Curious Garden seed and flowerpot kit. Last day to enter: May 8, 2009. (Make sure to read the complete rules and send the consent form in as well.)
Win a copy! Hachette Book Group has kindly offered to giveaway (10) hardcover copies of The Curious Garden to 10 Brimful Curiosities readers. Yes, this is a HUGE Earth Day giveaway! Please spread the word. 10 COPIES!
To enter, leave a comment telling me about your favorite garden or favorite children's book about a garden.
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• Winner will be chosen at random
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2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
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