The Curious Garden

The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown


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This New York Times bestselling modern classic explores the perennial topic of environmentalism in an urban world, from the creator of The Wild Robot and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

One boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time.

While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316015479
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 04/01/2009
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 56,744
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 5 Years

About the Author

Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including Children Make Terrible Pets, The Curious Garden, and The Wild Robot. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year.

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Curious Garden 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
grisaille More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, uplifting, and hopeful fable about perseverance and the difference one person (and one garden) can make in the world. Beautiful artwork and simple, lyrical prose. I especially like how the character of the garden itself is brought out in the story. Highly recommended.
MommyRhiannon More than 1 year ago
Bravo Peter Brown! This book inspires children of all ages to open their eyes & hearts to the natural beauty growing in the most unexpected of places! The illustrations capture the imagination and inject humor into a very important message of loving & nuturing our Mother Earth! Makes a fantastic birthday or holiday present...pair it with a little spade, watering can & a few seed packets! PS-And it's printed on beautiful recycled paper!
PNA More than 1 year ago
Help children and adults alike to learn to make where they live a more beautiful place to live. Teach children how to plant and grow a garden and that it can be fun and rewarding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as a gift for two of my grand children (7yrs. and 2 yrs) The oldest loved the story and could read it out loud with little difficulty. Since she is very much into being "GREEN", and caring for our Mother Earth, she found it inspirational. The youngest one loved the pictures and enjoyed the story as well when read to her. It is now part of the night time ritual of bedtime. They have only had the book a few weeks, but both know it by heart This book has actually brought out their creativity in gardening as well. Its a sweet precious story and we truly are enjoying over and over and over again
readingteachsu More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for making earthday everyday. Wonderful story about an accidental ecologist.... who is a child.
Mary_T More than 1 year ago
Peter Brown's "The Curious Garden" is a beautifully illustrated story about a boy who gradually transforms his drab city into a lovely, green paradise. The lone outdoorsman in a city of couch potatoes, Liam first notices small plants growing in the cracks of a disused elevated railroad track. With time and care he nurtures them until the entire railway is a shiny ribbon of green through the smokey, grey city. This is wonderful enough, but then "The Curious Garden" gets positively fantastical. The enchanted plants flow out of their tracks and begin to transform all the surfaces of the city into a botanical wonderland. Rooftops, sidewalks, stopsigns and rubbish heaps sprout flowers, trees and vines. The illustrations turn this delightful notion into a visual feast. Peter Brown has crafted a whimsical, engaging and educational storybook that kids of all ages will love, and parents will be glad to read over and over again. - Mary Tills, Barnes and Noble Frederick
brandeekay More than 1 year ago
my boys loved this!
laurakurtz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. The world Liam lives in is all grey and ugly, no plants at all. But then while out exploring one day, he finds a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world. The illustrations are beautiful, growing more and more lush as the garden takes over the city. The environmental themes of how much better plants make our lives, and the guerrilla gardening aspect too are awesome!
juju1220 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this book! I am a gardener myself so I enjoyed the extra steps that the format of this book provided. A story about a boy who turns a tiny area of greenery into a sprawled garden that takes over the city. I enjoyed the non texted pages that shows the garden in different stages throughout the city. The story about the boy who takes care of the growing garden even during the winter preparing his plans for the springtime. In the end I enjoyed how the gardening effect took on the city and new gardeners evolved!
ReadAloudDenver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A boy's curiosity leads him to the old abandoned train tracks where he spots a dying patch of plants that he falls under his gentle care and grows into a thriving garden. Over several years, his initial garden becomes the impetus for the greening and natural beautification of the entire city. The illustrations of passing of both seasons and time in this book help children develop narrative skills where they learn to describe the story in their own words.
CarolyneBegin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story follows a young boy, named Liam, as he tries to spread beauty throughout a city that has long been devoid of it. As he is exploring his city, he comes across some plants growing on some abandoned railroad tracks and decides to care for them. He maintains a small garden for the first season and after a long winter returns to continue his work. The plants need a lot of help but he soon notices that there are more and more plants popping up throughout the city! The beauty of nature has spread and so has the appreciation for it as gardeners also start popping up in the least expected places. What started out as a solo act brings beauty and joy to an entire city.The artwork is amazing and really shows the contrast between the city at the beginning and what it looks like after the plants have spread. There are several pages without words that express the theme well.
szierdt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Curious Gardener reflects the possibilities that gardens can create. A useful book for teaching about community, civic responsibility, and sustainablity. The author notes the question that led to the writing of this book, "what would happen if an entire city decided to trulu cooperate with nature? How would that city change? How would it all begin? Perfect book to take into the school garden.
copad2thing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is about Liam who is exploring his drab and encounters a struggling garden. He decides to help the plants grow.
arielaver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fairy tale for any city. It begins, as any fairy tale should, with a sad state of affairs, and through patience, caring, and perseverance, works towards a happily-ever-after. The art in this book communicates as much, if not more than, the words, as it tells the story of Liam, a little boy in a sad and dreary city who decides to nurture a bit of land and ends up teaching the city through his own example how to garden.
untitled841 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The garden was especially curious about old, forgotten things."The story of a little boy and a garden that change the city they live in by exploring and growing.
allawishus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A boy who lives in a city without a lot of greenery finds an abandoned garden on the top of an old elevated train track. Over time he cultivates the garden and it grows and grows. As others follow his gardening example, gardens spread all over the city, transforming it into a garden paradise, ha ha.The illustrations are quite lovely, very calming. The variety of greens and vibrant blues make for very arresting illustrations, especially towards the end. There's also a somewhat sequential art/comic book feel to some of the illustrations. All in all it's very charming.
ebmcc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
simply told, but beautiful concept of a how a garden can relieve a community of the drab industrial persona it takes on
HilarySI624 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a dreary city, Liam¿s curiosity and love of being outdoors lead him to discover and nurture a hidden garden on an abandoned elevated railway. Peter Brown¿s timely picture book The Curious Garden explores the tenacity of nature and its effects on both structures and people around it. Brown endows his growing garden with the human characteristics of sleeping, patience, and curiosity, making it a rather apt friend for the somewhat solitary but adventurous Liam. The almost three dimensional illustrations lend a realism to the world Brown is creating, similar to a digitally animated movie. The pictures slowly brighten from muted grays and earth tones in the beginning to vibrant greens, reds, and yellows as the garden slowly takes over the city. Likewise, the inhabitants of the city also begin to venture out-of-doors as the garden spreads, until trees grow as tall as high-rises and sprout treehouses for children and gardens are planted on roofs of buildings. Brown¿s author¿s note explains his real-life inspiration for the story, perhaps providing inspiration for the readers themselves. This would be a great addition to school and public libraries both.
dreamer2000 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book but it had an old book feel to me the pictures looked like they were from an old town and this book is less than a year old. I thought the pictures could have been brighter even though it was trying to de dreary. I didn't like the pictures in the comic line across the page
jillkennedy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liam, an imaginative and determined boy is out for a walk in his dreary city when he discovers an open stairway to an unused railroad bed. He runs up to explore and finds that there are wildflowers and plants growing! Excitedly Liam begins to tend to the plants: pruning, watering, and singing to them. It turns out that the plants are just as curious as Liam, and they begin to spread through the city. The bold illustrations, rendered in acrylic, are realistic. Placement and size vary: vignettes show Liam watering or admiring his plants and full or double page spreads provide a view of the changing city. The strength of the illustrations is such that the story is clearly understood even without text.Initially, dull shades of brown, gray, and muted brick reds portray an industrialized city. As Liam's plants begin to thrive, the colors become vibrant, bright, and happy. The sky is an eye-popping azure, the daisies are bright white, and the grasses are lush greens. While there still are smokestacks, abandoned cars, and boarded up buildings, the overall sense from the images is one of joy. Liam¿s uplifting tale encourages a love of gardening. This book would be a super read-aloud for Pre-schoolers to 2nd graders and would be a good lead in for a discussion about the benefits of plants to our health and communities. A simple seed project or gardening activity would be a natural follow-up.
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