Friday 3 August 2018

The Garden of Hope

The Garden of Hope by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Katie Rewse (Caterpillar Books) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781848577138

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Since Mum went, Maya, Dad and Pip find the garden’s grown wild and overgrown. Maya, a dark-skinned girl (like Dad) takes it upon herself to tidy it up, planting sunflower seeds at first but later being joined by Dad who helps too. Before long there are benefits with flowers growing which attract insects then birds, and -- because this story is set in England -- voles and hedgehogs, rabbits, squirrels, and even foxes.

Things have changed since Mum has gone but now, even though the house is ‘still rather a mess’, the garden has been transformed.

This is a simple tale, simply told with full-page watercolour illustrations which show the blossoming of colourful flowers in a once gloomy garden. It’s likely to be a book of interest to children of 4 to 6 whose parents read to them as the text is rather long.

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