K-Gr 2-In this didactic story told in verse, people are likened to flowers in Grandmother's garden. "Different colors, different faces...reaching for the sun." The imagery is confusing: "Earth is a garden" leads one to see Grandmother as a personification of God, but later she is identified as Grandma Rose, the relative of the narrator. There is a recurring awkward line: "Till your fingers through the soil `til the time stands still." After the "til(l)s" are sorted out, what does this mean? And how does it contribute to the theme of blooming diversity? The stippled illustrations show sweet, dreamy faces of children from many lands tending oversized blossoms against a blurry green background. The vague and wispy religiosity of this book contains ingredients of multiculturalism, but they are mixed together in such an odd way that many children may be uncomfortably confused.-Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Grandmother's Garden ( PLB book & cassette Aug. 1996; 32 pp.; 0-382-39653-7; PLB 0-382-39652-9; book & cassette 0-382-39664-2): In an extended poetic metaphor, Archambault (The Birth of the Whale, p. 222, etc.) compares the earth to Grandmother Rose's garden, where all flowers grow together. "Different colors, different faces, different names/Underneath our skin, we are all the same./We are flowering faces reaching for the sun./In Grandmother's garden, we are all one./In Grandmother's garden, we are all one." These words seem to belong to a song, and here are sunnily set to Colón's illustrations, created in his now-trademark style. Soft-hued, rainbow-colored scenes have been given a texture like scratched-out fingerprints. Sculpted, ethnically diverse boys and girls are pictured working in a flower garden, bathed in sunlight. A warm, optimistic work.