The Little Gardener
Emily Hughes depicts a garden in shades of green and brown, and inside it she places a tiny gardener who makes strenuous efforts to nurture the plants and make them grow. The garden provides him with shelter and nourishment and ‘It was his joy.’ Sometimes he despairs of coping with it all. However, hope is at hand as one flower blossoms and is noticed by someone who can help him. Emily Hughes uses an earthy palette redolent of loam for her illustrations which are accompanied by an uncomplicated and repetitive text, supportive for young readers who can keep returning to more appreciate its message more deeply.