Happy May, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and continuing to stay healthy and safe. To those of you who have struggled, or suffered during these times, know you are not alone. There is a world of wonderful people who are here for you, in all the ways we can be. So I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out.
Coincidentally (or is it?) today’s book highlight happens to be about community. Specifically, how one small group of people in the city choose to create something beautiful together. We create best when we work together, after all. We will always be stronger together than alone. Yes, even introverts like me must agree, it is a comfort in knowing we aren’t totally alone.
Discover more about Thank You, Garden, and the artists that created this lovely children’s picture book. I had the pleasure of reading this to my four-year-old, and can’t wait to share his, and my thoughts on this fantastic easy read. Keep reading to find out how you can score your own signed copy, below!
THANK YOU, GARDEN
by LIZ GARTON SCANLON
illustrated by SIMONE SHIN
Children’s Picture Book / Poetry / Environment / Ages 3-7
Publisher: Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 32
Scroll down for the giveaway!
A community garden unites neighbors in this celebration of all the things that grow there, from flowers and fruits, to friendships!
This ode to working together for a better world will have young readers wanting to plant gardens of their own!
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4 of 5 Stars
When I convinced my four-year-old to climb onto the couch with me to read Thank You, Garden, we weren’t sure what to expect. Let me begin by saying this isn’t an average review from me. For one thing, I don’t often review picture books (though I adore them). Another thing, I read this to my son on my laptop. Keep these facts in mind, or nothing you read hence will seem wondrous.
Thank You, Garden is a wonderfully earthy picture book written in simple rhyming prose by Liz Garton Scanlon. Shakespeare once wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” and I’m inclined to agree in this case. I found Scanlon’s writing fresh, lush, and covering a startlingly deep concept. Sure, this is a children’s picture book, but it conveys a powerful message. In a time of uncertainty, when people are encouraged to stay away from each other, Thank You, Garden, reminds us of the power of community.
My son and I live in an old family farmhouse in the middle of the woods. So the concept of these people living so close together between big city buildings is unfathomable to him. He asked questions like, “Why are they growing things there?” To which I got to explain city gardens as a four-year-old could understand it. My son had fun following the journey of the garden, and the children especially, as they “help” tend alongside the adults. Over the course of the book, the garden project becomes something this tiny niche in the big city can enjoy and grow together.
While the underlying message is indeed powerful, the illustrations are what made this book. Full of bright colors, with fun, blocky shapes, my son had fun picking out all the hidden details in illustrator Simone Shin’s artwork. The text compliments and flows well with the illustrations, and was enough fun to make me want to dig my hands into some fresh earth.
Thank You, Garden is a quick read, but full of opportunity for discussion with your little one. After finishing our read through my son said, “That was great!” followed by, “Can we go buy the real book now?” My four-year-old wanted a paperback copy of his own to touch and read again and again. If that’s not enough of an endorsement for you to grab a copy for your kids, well, what are you waiting for? Dig in!
**I was provided with a copy of Thank You, Garden by the publisher and this is my voluntary and honest review.**
MEET LIZ GARTON SCANLON
Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of many beloved books for kids, including the brand new Thank You, Garden, as well as the Caldecott Honor book All the World and others, including several co-authored with her pal Audrey Vernick. Scanlon also wrote the middle grade novel The Great Good Summer and is published in numerous poetry anthologies. She serves on the faculty of the Vermont Faculty of Fine Arts and is a frequent and popular presenter at conferences and festivals. Find more about her life and work at www.LizGartonScanlon.com
DISCOVER THE ILLUSTRATOR
Follow illustrator Simone Shin on Instagram!
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Each winner gets an autographed/personalized copy of
THANK YOU, GARDEN and ANOTHER WAY TO CLIMB A TREE
MAY 14-21, 2020