The Extraordinary Gardener
In this delightful debut picture book, a small boy with a vivid imagination is motivated to bring life and colour to his dull and grey urban environment. Inspired by an idea in his favourite book, Joe finds and plants an apple seed and waits for nature’s magic to begin. As his garden grows and expands to include many other plants, his neighbours are captivated by it and he finds ways to share it with them and people throughout his city.
The illustrations which are of mixed media, including collage and crayon, have a childlike charm and the way they are placed in tandem with the text within the overall design of the book perfectly matches the pace of the story. Joe is a child who intuitively understands that learning comes from a variety of sources – including books and observation of and interaction with nature. While this book has a freshness all of its own, it’s also possible to make links to other texts about growth, sharing and caring for the environment.