Monday, August 7, 2017
THE WIND’S GARDEN
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt Books For Young Readers; 1st edition (2001)
Author: Bethany Roberts
Roberts focuses on two parallel gardens--one carefully cultivated, the other the product of nature--in this cheery picture book. "I planted a garden. The wind planted a garden, too," announces the narrator, a lively girl with a green thumb and carrot-colored hair. As she charts the growth of both gardens in simple phrases ("The wind didn't weed. Its garden just grew"), readers can see for themselves the contrast between the girl's carefully tended plot with its neatly ordered rows, and the result of what happens when the wind "swirled around, throwing seeds to the ground, here and there and everywhere." The narrator makes no ultimate judgments; instead she happily appreciates the beauties of both styles. Like the gardens themselves, Greenberg's vibrant folk-art style gouache paintings burst with life, from the swooping curlicues used to indicate the wind to the zinnia-bright colors of the flowers and surrounding yard. Pink and purple sheets hang on the clothesline; a peach-colored house boasts a periwinkle door; a rolling line of blue hills anchors the horizon. This breezy tale ends with a few brief tips from the author on cultivating gardens both domestic and wild.
School Library Journal
A small girl describes the planting and growing of her garden while noticing and comparing the changes in the wind's garden, which is the nearby field. The child is purposeful and hardworking while the wind is, naturally, more carefree and expansive; but both gardens thrive on water and sunshine, are visited by bees and butterflies, and are beautiful. The story concludes with an author's note about growing a garden and about contributing to the wind's garden by blowing dandelion seeds. The flat, stylized gouache illustrations are colorful and cheery.
A little girl describes how she planted, watered, and weeded her garden, while outside the fence, the wind planted a garden too. Though watered only by rain, the wind's garden has grown into a field of wildflowers alongside the girl's garden. Telling the story of the two gardens through a simple, first-person text, Roberts makes planting seeds, tending plants, and watching them grow sound mighty appealing. But the real excitement comes in the illustrations: all the waiting pays off in the riot of colorful flowers on the final pages. The naive-style gouache paintings suit the tone of the story well. A good book for reading aloud.