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  • Posted May 3, 2013


    David Small's illustrations and Sarah Stewart's text are so perfect that this book is a masterpiece. The story of the child sent to the city to stay with an uncle during a time of financial crisis, tells the story of a child with a great heart, a willingness to help, and a secret agenda: to get her uncle to smile. Her flowers bring joy to everyone who sees them, and there are many who come to see the garden she makes. It is a bit of putting joy where there is no joy, and then finding joy. And yes, the smile does come, finally, and the child does return to her family, and the crisis has passed. It is a life story for each one of us. Get several, to keep and give away.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Lovely, thoughtful book!

    My twin grandsons aged 5 1/2 responded warmly to this tale of a young girl who is sent off to live with her bakery owning uncle in the city during the Great Depression in order to ease the burden of her own parents and perhaps to provide another worker for the bakery.
    This is a delightful story to hear and to see. The illustrations are charming and perfectly accessible to young kids and it's fun and instructive to have the story unfold through the main character's letters home to her family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    The Gardener- Sarah Stewart

    Moving from the country to the city can be scary especially for Lydia Grace. She has to move away from her mother, father, and grandmother to her Uncle Jim's place in the city. Lydia Grace 'knows alot about gardening but nothing about baking.' She is worried that she will not have a place to garden in the city. But when she gets there she finds out that there are window boxes there, and that Uncle Jim doesn't smile. Will Lydia Grace ever get to go home? Will she ever learn about baking? Will she ever get Uncle Jim to smile? All of these questions are answered in 'The Gardener' This book is really enjoyable an also educational. If you were to do a lesson plan this would be a great illustration to use for writing letters. This book is a 3rd grade reading level and is a wonderful book. Stewart, Sarah. THE GARDENER. New York:Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007


    Two thumbs up!! I really enjoyed 'The Gardener.' Lydia Grace a little girl in love with gardens and flowers illustrated to the readers that a little love, care, and enjoyment can transform anything into beautiful. But not only does she face the task of making the town colorful, but she is determined to get her uncle to smile. Will she succeed? You'll just have to read to find out. Sarah Stewart is a terrific writer and she is able to display her love for gardens and flowers just like Lydia Grace in 'The Gardener.' It was definitely deserving of the Caldecott Medal. Stewart, Sarah. Small, David. The Gardener. USA: Berryville Graphics, 1997

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2006

    College Review for Class

    What is your passion in life? In this children¿s picture book, ¿The Gardener¿ a Caldecott Honor Book in 1997 Lydia Grace Finch passion is gardening. Lydia is writing a letter to her Uncle Jim who lives in the city. It seems that Lydia papa has been out of work for a long time, and she is being sent to live with him until things get better. Her uncle has a bakery in the city, so she writes him a letter while at the train station telling him three important things that she can¿t say to his face. 1. I know a lot about gardening, but nothing about baking. 2. I¿m anxious to learn to bake, but is there any place to plant seeds? 3. I like to be called ¿Lydia Grace¿ ¿ just like Grandma. When Lydia arrives in the city, she writes to her Mama, Papa, and Grandma. I¿m so exited! There are window boxes here! They look as if they¿ve been waiting for me, so now we¿ll both wait for spring. P.S. Uncle Jim doesn¿t smile. Because Lydia Uncle Jim doesn¿t smile, she makes it her mission to get him to smile and in the mean time, she starts planting flowers in her secret place to surprise her uncle¿. Do you think that Lydia will be able to make her uncle smile and surprise him with her garden? To find out the rest of this story, read this wonderful book ¿The Gardener¿ by Sarah Stewart. Sarah Stewart grew up in Texas. She has held the position of teacher, and speechwriter. All her books have been illustrated by David Small (her husband). They share their historic home on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan. Their two children are now grown. And only Otis their cat is at home. Other books you will enjoy by this author are: The Money Tree, The Library, and The Journey. Stewart Sarah, The Gardener, Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 1997

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    The Gardener

    The Gardener is a Caldecott Honor Book. A little girl named Lydia Grace is sent to live with her uncle until things get better. Lydia Grace writes letters to her family discussing her feelings about moving. Lydia Grace loves to plant flowers and seeds. She is worried that there will be no place for her to plant things when she gets to her Uncle Jims. She writes, ¿Dearest Grandma, Thank you for the seeds. ¿.every time I doze off, I dream of gardens.¿ Will Lydia Grace be able to plant the seeds that her Grand mother gave her? This book would be good for 3rd-6th grade. This book would help to show that writing letters can express your feelings. This book is a realistical fiction book. This is actually something that could really happen. I really enjoyed this book. The author Sarah Stewart has worked with David Small on several books. They combine their talents to produce wonderful books. When Sarah isn¿t writing she is in her Garden. Ms. Stewart and Mr. Small are married and live in a historic house in Michigan. Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1997.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2003

    a very sweet story

    i remember reading this book too in the bookstore when i was 9 and i've been looking for it ever since. its a really great story and i highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2000

    A genuine and touching story from yesterday

    The story is set in the 1930's and is written in the format of letters written by a little girl who goes to live with her Uncle for short time in order to help him. While she's there she begins to 'spruce up' the place with her green thumb. I won't say anymore. The illustrations are great and the story is one that brought tears to my husbands eyes! This story is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a whole lot of garbage out there. I'm buying it in hardcover because I want to pass it down to my children. =]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    hard to believe...

    i actually remembered this book, the title, from when i first read it, at the age of 8 years. i didn't want to ask to buy it, since it wouldve been impolite at the time. i thought it was the sweetest picture book i ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    Lovely Story, Lovely Pictures

    Mary Stewart has written a truely inspiring story about one little girl who brings joy to many during a particular difficult time in history. David Small has captured the essence of the story with his beautiful illustrations. As a future teacher, I will include this book in my classroom library and use it to integrate literature into other subjects such as science and English(letter writing).

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