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

Friday 3 May 2019

Review: The Garden of Hope

Maya, her dog Pip, and Dad are hardly coping without mum. 

The place is a mess. So is Dad. They all do their best but they hadn’t realized how many things mum did for them every day.

Dad is a good storyteller but he hasn’t been telling Maya much about mum. During one of their quiet times, Dad shares with Maya secrets about mum’s garden, how she loved to plant things, nurture them, and keep them full of life.

But the garden has been swallowed by weeds. It is now nothing but a tangled mess.

Maya decides to change things. Slowly but surely she cuts away tangles, pulls out the weeds and fills the compost. She finds some packets of seeds of sunflowers - mum’s favourite. In the newly cleared earth, Maya sows the seeds and hopes. When she thinks of the garden she feels better.

Joy comes to Maya with the first green shoots. They are beauty and calm, and new beginnings. As the garden is transformed, so are the people. Other living things make their way there. Animals, insects and birds flock to and fill the area with life and activity.  Everything is renewed.

Soft pastels and earthy greens and browns fill the full colour pages. Strong images in the illustrations depict the chaos and calm of Maya, Pip and Dad’s life before and after mum.

Themes of loss and grief, acceptance and renewal, courage and determination, weave through this gentle and moving story that accents the importance of change and moving forward.

Title: The Garden of Hope
Author: Isabel Otter
Illustrator: Katie Rewse
Publisher: Hardie Grant, $24.99
Publication Date: August 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781848577138
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book