The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen, Irene Luxbacher |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Imaginary Garden

The Imaginary Garden

by Andrew Larsen, Irene Luxbacher
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist Starred Review
As fresh and vibrant as a spring bouquet, this joyous offering will delight children, particularly young artists, throughout the year.
Quill & Quire
The Imaginary Garden affirms both a warm bond between grandparent and child and the transformative power of the creative imagination.
From the Publisher
As fresh and vibrant as a spring bouquet, this joyous offering will delight children, particularly young artists, throughout the year.

... 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.

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Theo loves her Poppa's garden, and is concerned when he moves to an apartment and has to leave it. Since Poppa says it will be too windy on his balcony for real flowers, Theo suggests an imaginary garden. When spring arrives, Poppa puts a big blank canvas on the balcony. With paint they "build" a stone wall and create soil. Poppa paints crocuses and scilla coming up, and adds a visiting robin. When Poppa goes on holiday, he leaves Theo in charge. She adds blossoms in many colors and eagerly awaits his return. This delightful imaginative story combines sketchy black ink drawings with particularly colorful multimedia collages for illustrations. The decorative iron fence on the balcony makes a fine contrast for the great canvas that becomes the garden. There is a logic to the way it grows, with paints added in time for the crocuses and then tulip bulbs, while vines cover the stone, for a sense of magic to the colorful creation. The love between Theo and her grandfather is evident. If only a real garden were as easy to establish and flood with blooms as this one! Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

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

Kirkus Reviews
Poppa lives in an apartment now, with a tiny, windy balcony instead of a garden. Theo comes up with the idea of an imaginary garden, so she and Poppa put a big canvas out on the balcony and paint sky, a stonewall and earth. First come the crocuses, then the robins. When Poppa goes away for a while, he reminds Theo that the daffodils, vines and tulips should bloom while he is away-and Theo makes sure they do. Flowers in the richest of saturated colors fill the pages, in contrast to the dainty pen-and-ink of the apartment building and its wrought-iron balconies. More than the gardening or even the flowers, the dance of imagination between grandfather and grandchild is sweetly filigreed across the pages. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554532797
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,202,383
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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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