Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Gardener (Sarah Stewart and David Small)

Sarah Stewart and David Small have an amazing ability to create books with characters that I wish, deep down, were me. I loved The Librarian. I was that girl, walking along with her nose in a book.

I wish I was the character in this book who is able to create a beautiful garden. I want to be a gardener.

My class found a lot of connections with this book. We just read The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring and the mere mention of signs of spring and vacant city lots sent many hands shooting into the air to make a text to text connection. They were also quite intrigued by how the story was told through letters. We have been working on letter writing all year long.

The illustrations in this book are captivating and beautiful. The story is hopeful despite difficult situations. 

My favourite line:  "I truly believe that cake equals one thousand smiles." 

Goodreads summary:

Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers' faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece -- an ambitious rooftop garden -- which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile. Sarah Stewart introduces readers to an engaging and determined young heroine, whose story is told through letters written home, while David Small's illustrations beautifully evoke the Depression-era setting.

The Gardener is a 1997 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

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