Tuesday, February 12, 2013

a child's garden: a story of hope

Title: A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope

Author: Michael Foreman (link to British Council: Literature)

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN: 9780763642716

Obtained: ILL library copy


This is a children's book I kept seeing praise for around the blogosphere; I quickly requested it.  I found  A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope to be an emotional book.  It includes desolation/destruction, determination, life and beauty, sorrow, and hope... all within an average length children's book.

The illustrations - transforming from black and white to vivid color and back again - goes a long way to helping portray all this emotion.  Not to mention crumbled buildings and a barbed wire fence.  But the story does it's part too.  You feel hope for that little sprout and the child who tends it.

I did wonder where this is supposed to be, but after seeing some of the other books Michael Foreman has written and/or illustrated, I wonder if it isn't meant to be a general commentary on what's left after any war.  I'd think that how that is portrayed to a child would depend on the child's age and comprehension.

 My niece asked me to read this to her and immediately requested I read it again once I'd finished.  I'm not entirely sure what she saw with her nearly 4 year old eyes.  As I was reading it to her she wanted to know why the plant was torn down, so I told her they didn't want the people on the other side to have something that made them happy.  But look! They changed when they could have something happy and pretty too!  Whatever she saw, I believe she appreciated something for her to request it the second time, though I suspect that had something to do with the pretty scenes with the birds and butterflies.

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