The Imaginary Gardenby Andrew Larsen, Irene Luxbacher
Theodora loved her grandfather's old garden. His new apartment's balcony is too windy and small for a garden. But what appears to be a drawback soon leads to a shared burst of creativity as Theo and her Poppa decide to paint a new garden. As they work side by side - sowing seeds with brushes and paint - a masterpiece begins to take shape that transforms
Theodora loved her grandfather's old garden. His new apartment's balcony is too windy and small for a garden. But what appears to be a drawback soon leads to a shared burst of creativity as Theo and her Poppa decide to paint a new garden. As they work side by side - sowing seeds with brushes and paint - a masterpiece begins to take shape that transforms the balcony into an abundant garden. When Poppa goes away on holiday, Theo helps nurture the garden and it begins to take on a life of its own. This garden grows not from soil but from love, imagination and creativity. Readers will marvel at each stage of this fertile garden as it grows from seed to full flower, revealing the power of art to enrich our lives.
... sweet and visually appealing ...
More than the gardening or even the flowers, the dance of imagination between grandfather and grandchild is sweetly filigreed across the pages.
The Imaginary Garden affirms both a warm bond between grandparent and child and the transformative power of the creative imagination.
Theo's Poppa's new apartment has no garden, and the windy balcony does not promise to be a good growing spot. But Theo proposes an imaginary garden, and she and her grandfather begin to fill a large blank canvas with a stone wall for the vines to climb on, early springtime flowers, and a visiting robin. When Poppa goes off on a trip, the painting project becomes Theo's; the garden bursts into bloom as she employs her memory, imagination, and a palette of vibrant colors. She even remembers to paint herself into the scene. The lively artwork is rendered in pen and ink and multimedia collage. The warmth of the grandparent/grandchild relationship is evident but, unfortunately, readers never witness Poppa's return and see his joy at Theo's creation. A book that more successfully shows a child as both gardener and healer is Sarah Stewart's The Gardener (Farrar, 1997). Nonetheless, this is a sweet and visually appealing addition for seasonal and gardening units.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
Meet the Author
Andrew Larsen is the author of The Imaginary Garden and Bella and the Bunny. He is a stay-at-home father who finds time to write between laundry and lunch. He lives in Toronto, Canada.
Irene Luxbacher is an artist and the author-illustrator of The Jumbo Book of Art, The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art, the Starting Art series and Mattoo, Let's Play! She also illustrated The Imaginary Garden for Kids Can Press. She lives in Toronto.
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