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

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Review: The Art Garden

An absolutely gorgeous story about creativity and friendship, showing there is more than one way to be an artist.

My first thought when I opened the cover was, 'Ooooo Beautiful.' And that was just my reaction to the end papers! The beauty continues with each turn of the page. Soft watercolour illustrations perfectly complement the gentle language that tells the story. 

A young, observant girl appreciates the beauty in all that surrounds her, but experiences frustration with her own attempts to recreate that beauty in paintings.  She admires her friend's ability to paint with great talent and wishes that she too could do the same. However we all have different talents and abilities. When the young girl looks at the situation from a different perspective, she discovers her own way to create beautiful art.

This is a fabulous story to show how travelling through frustration can lead to wonderful realisations about the self. Persistence through difficult feelings is important to learn and grow.

Penelope has done a brilliant job with the illustrations. They set the mood of the story throughout the book. This is a story that I felt compelled to read quietly. Penny's words speak to the heart of the listener in a gentle tone, enabling the reader to experience different emotional responses in a supported and calm way.

A lovely book to read in the quiet spaces of home to calm a child before bedtime. Or to read to a group in a classroom to settle the mood and teach children about respecting different perspectives and talents. 

Highly recommended for both home and school environments.

Title: The Art Garden
Author: Penny Harrison
Illustrator: Penelope Pratley
Publisher:  EK Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 1st February 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925335590
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture book


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