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Four Friends in the Garden

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The creator of FOUR FRIENDS TOGETHER revisits her colorful crew in the garden as they find that patience is the secret to luring a new fluttery friend.

It’s a sunny day, and Mary Clare, Rachel the rabbit, Seymour the sheep, and Florentina the big flowery bear are all in the garden. Suddenly a butterfly lands on Florentina’s foot, and she can’t wait to show the others. But off it flies, and around and around they run, trying to catch a glimpse ...

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Overview

The creator of FOUR FRIENDS TOGETHER revisits her colorful crew in the garden as they find that patience is the secret to luring a new fluttery friend.

It’s a sunny day, and Mary Clare, Rachel the rabbit, Seymour the sheep, and Florentina the big flowery bear are all in the garden. Suddenly a butterfly lands on Florentina’s foot, and she can’t wait to show the others. But off it flies, and around and around they run, trying to catch a glimpse of it. Could it be that sitting quietly might lead to better results?

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Marie Swanson
Four Friends in the Garden is a simple story, told with spare text and acrylic paintings, in which the brightly colored characters run through a pastel landscape. Who among us hasn't been thwarted in the effort to share the joy of a discovery? Or been dismayed when a lovely moment ends too quickly? Heap's books about the four friends acknowledge that often it is the way we resolve everyday problems and disappointments that determines the quality of our lives.
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Four Friends in the Garden by Sue Heap reunites the quartet from Four Friends Together for a lovely day outdoors. When a butterfly alights on some of the pals, their exuberance scares it off. The insect antics make for a busy day before taking a break for lemonade. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Following Four Friends Together comes this story of four friends who decide to add a fifth. Florentine, a bear, may be the caregiver of the other three, who look like children dressed as a sheep, child, and rabbit. When a butterfly lands on Mary Claire, she chases it joyfully but the other three don't see the new friend. Finally, it lands on Seymour's hand and everyone is amazed at how beautiful it is. Then Florentine arrives with lemonade and an insect lands on her nose, a fifth friend. This quiet story reflects a preschooler's idea of a perfect quiet day in the meadow—even if your babysitter isn't a bear. Heap's acrylic paintings feature patterned stylized surfaces of objects, big areas of soft color, and simple features on the main characters. It is all restful, pleasing, and cozy with summertime lassitude—just right for remembering what you did last summer when school starts. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 6.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Though it lacks the internal cohesion and satisfying conclusion of Four Friends Together (Candlewick, 2003), this follow-up tale nonetheless holds lots of appeal, thanks to Heap's bold, playful acrylic illustrations and lovable characters. Florentina, a great big flowery bear; Rachel, a rabbit; Seymour, a sheep; and a little girl named Mary Clare enjoy the outdoors. When a butterfly lands on Florentina's foot, she calls everyone over to see it, but it flies away before they have a chance. The companions race around the garden chasing it, but the butterfly only comes to see them once they sit still and remain quiet-and by then, Florentina has disappeared. All ends happily, however, as she appears just in time to serve lemonade to her friends and greet the butterfly, which lands on her nose. The interactions among the characters are real and caring, and the simple text and colorful illustrations will work well in toddler storytimes.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With colors bright as a summer day and patterns just as cheery, Heap takes her characters from Four Friends Together (2003) on another gentle romp. Florentina, the flowered bear, is on the swing when a beautiful blue butterfly (pleasingly modeled on the rare morpho eugenia) lands on her toe. When she calls her friends to see, it flies off. Mary Clare, Seymour the sheep, and Rachel the rabbit (they actually look like children in a sheep wig and bunny jammies, respectively) chase it towards the lemon tree and the rose bush, but end up sitting, hot and tired. The butterfly returns when the children are still, and Florentina brings lemonade for all. Besides making a simple and quite engaging story, Heap's acrylics employ wonderful design: the rose bush is a pink tree with rosy swirls; the lemon tree stitched with whole lemons. Very nice. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763623715
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Heap is the author-illustrator of FOUR FRIENDS TOGETHER, the first book starring these characters, as well as COWBOY BABY and WHAT SHALL WE PLAY? She is also the illustrator of LITTLE CHICKEN CHICKEN by David Martin, THE HUNGRY MONSTER by Phyllis Root, and COWBOY KID by Max Eilenberg. Sue Heap lives in England.
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