Parents' Guide to

The Curious Garden

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Hopeful tale with unique artwork will inspire all ages.

The Curious Garden Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

A lovely green fable with amazing artwork

My 2-year-old and I have checked this one out from the library several times in the last few months. I probably should buy a copy already. My daughter loves the artwork--it is is so vibrant and she'll pore over the pictures, always discovering new details and asking new questions. I like the green message, which is well-done and not preachy, and I also like how empowering the story is for young children. Highly recommended!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 4+

great story, beautiful pictures

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The story here is original, as is the artwork that moves it along. Is the garden called curious because it's strange and almost magical, or because, given half a chance, it's a garden bent on exploring every nook and cranny of Liam's world? In either case, the way it bursts into bloom with just a bit of tender care is inspirational. And the way it awakens the entire community is a lesson for us all.

The eye-catching paintings are simple yet complicated, and amazingly expressive, especially the landscapes. In the beginning, the beige-toned city, highlighted only by black smoke puffing out into the beige sky, is the very definition of a drab, dreary industrial world. Then little by little, color returns until, like a patchwork quilt, the city is patterned, and green, and lush. And the sky behind the billowing white clouds is a vivid blue.

The best part is the hopeful lesson. Not only does the young boy change his drab world into a beautiful garden, one plant at a time, but, in the process, he also inspires people all around him to love and tend their gardens, too.

Colorful and expressive, but not over-the-top glossy, the almost surreal artwork in this book really tells the story. The cover itself, with its shrubs in the shape of birds and butterflies, promises a magical world teeming with green grasses, fields of daisies, and billowing white clouds in the blue, blue sky. And the rest of the book delivers. Painted in acrylic and gouache, the boy's city changes from a plant-less, grey industrial place to a very colorful one filled with gardens and gardeners. Sans words, several full-paged illustrations in the middle of the book are particularly amazing in color and detail.

Book Details

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