Saturday, October 30, 2021

Review - The Garden We Share

The Garden We Share

by Zoë Tucker
illustrated by Julianna Swaney
Date: 2022
Publisher: NorthSouth Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

To everything there is a season in this beautiful story about gardening, seasons, and treasured memories.

This inspiring picture book written by Zoë Tucker and illustrated by Julianna Swaney—the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines—celebrates the friendship between a young girl and an elderly woman as they plant seeds in a community garden alongside friends and neighbors, waiting for the seeds to flower. By mid-summer, the friends welcome a rainbow of color in the garden and picnics in the sun. At harvest, the young girl’s elderly friend is bed-ridden, but jubilant as they share baskets with red tomatoes and snap peas amid the sweet smell of lavender. When the last leaves fall, everything is different. But in the spring, hope arises anew.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a gentle picture book about gardening, the seasons, and intergenerational friendship. A little girl helps her elderly friend plant seeds in the garden early in the year. As they nurture their garden, the plants grow and create a lovely space where the community can spend time and share the bounty. As the year cycles back around to the beginning, there are changes in people's lives... but the little girl continues on, grateful for the memories of gardening with her friend.

I really enjoyed the descriptive language used here, which evokes a lush and abundant garden full of all sorts of wonderful things to share with the community. The illustrations, largely done in a warm colour palette, are the perfect complement to the text. I'm not sure how much appeal this will have to kids looking for an engaging story, but I can see the value of a book like this in a classroom, especially accompanying teaching about gardening or seasons.

Thank you to NetGalley and NorthSouth Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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