'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 22 July 2010

Review: The Paradise Garden

Title: The Paradise Garden

Author: Colin Thompson

Illustrator: Colin Thompson

Publisher: Random House, $17.95 RRP

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781741664195

For ages: 4 - 8

Type: Picture book

About: There is a lot going around in Peter’s mind. So much so, that he needs to escape, and he knows just the place to do it.

The garden in the west of the city is quiet, surrounded by trees and with animals and birdlife that make it feel as though he is in the middle of nowhere. He yearns to be there, so he tells his mother a story so he can get away.

Spending weeks upon weeks in the garden, alone, Peter contemplates life. He is at peace there, having escaped the pain of his parents’ divorce, their fighting and yelling, being made to do things he doesn’t want to do. He is away from all the neighbours and cars and clutter of his city street.

Peter is happy.

Eventually he must head home, but he finds a way to make his garden into the paradise he so needs.

Thompson, never afraid to cut through the tough issues that children face, tackles the tricky question of divorce in this story. His main character, Peter, is so worried and stressed from his parents’ constant fighting that he has to escape.

And there are messages in this story for all adults and children going through this same scenario, beginning with the fact that sometimes we need to get away from it all, but there are ways to do it that are within our reach.

The Paradise Garden is a beautifully illustrated, sensitively written story for anyone needing to escape from a tough reality.

This book is available online

Author/illustrator website