While doing my morning rounds for work, I stumbled upon the spring display on our children’s floor. Browsing the covers, I noticed two new books. There’s a Tiger in the Garden (see my other review) and Florette by Anna Walker.
I picked up Florette and I found a book about a girl who moves from the country to the city. She is sad she has to leave her garden behind. However, as an imaginative, creative and determined child, she finds a unique way to have her garden with her. Even though there is not any room for a backyard garden like before.
I like how Mae keeps trying when her experiments to try and bring color and a garden into her small apartment fail. To me, the symbol of the chalk pictures being created and washed away was that of how a garden is planted (drawn), grows (looking at the pictures) and goes away (washed away in the rain). And using the materials around her (the boxes and boxes and boxes that they used to move in) was also a creative twist.
One could read this book aloud to a child, give to an adult who has just moved and lost their own garden, or to someone who likes gardens. It also would be a fun book to have in the classroom (the main classroom or in an art class).
Illustrated in watercolor, these almost impressionistic illustrations are soothing to the eyes. The text has an almost poetic feel to it. The emphasis on friendship comes subtlety, as people watch Mae figure out how to bring nature to the city. Yet, the theme of spunk and ingenuity is obvious. Anna Walker has created a piece of art with the book, Florette.