Country Gardens

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
Alary, Laura. What Grew in Larry’s Garden. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2020.
Gardens bring friendship and understanding. They build goodwill in a world often filled with fear and loneliness. This quietly gentle picture book illustrated by Kass Reich is based on the true story of a Toronto schoolteacher who showed his students how to grow tomato plants and share them with others. “We can figure this out,” he says over and over again to his young neighbour Grace when problems arise. Highly recommended for gardeners of all ages.

The Secret Garden

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. New York : Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1987, c1911.

“A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors where she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.” – FVRL. A classic novel for readers 8 to 12-years old.

Jackal in the Garden

Ellis, Deborah. Jackal in the Garden: An Encounter with Bizhad. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2006.

“Born deformed, Anibus is considered cursed and is left in the desert to die, but after being rescued and raised in secret, she leads a nomadic life, finding acceptance with a colony of artists which includes Kamal al-Din Bihzad, the most famous master of Persian painting.” – CIP. An intriguing novel for avid readers 12-years-old and up. 

Rabbit Hill

Lawson, Robert. Rabbit Hill. New York: Puffin Books, 2007, c1944.

“New folks are coming to live in the Big House. The animals of Rabbit Hill wonder if they will plant a garden and thus be good providers.” – WAFMS. This Newbery Honor Book is highly recommended for lovers of Charlotte’s Web

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: F. Warne, c1987, 1902.

“Though forbidden to do so, Peter creeps into Mr. McGregor’s garden, is chased and nearly caught several times, finally finds his way out again, and is put to bed and dosed with tea.” – WAFMS.  This all-time classic is for readers – and listeners – of all ages. 

Grandpa Green

Smith, Lane. Grandpa Green. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2011.

“A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.” – WAFMS. The winner of multiple awards, this 2012 Caldecott Honor Book is an amusing yet thoughtful story for readers of all ages. 

‘Country Gardens’, a cheerful English folk tune arranged by Percy Grainger:

“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in ’em,” said Captain Jim. “When I ponder on them seeds I don’t find it nowise hard to believe that we’ve got souls that’ll live in other worlds. You couldn’t hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn’t seen the miracle, could you?”

–  L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

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