Review Blog

Nov 10 2009

Isabella's garden by Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool

cover image

Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781921150333.
(Ages 5-10) Highly recommended. A picture book not to be missed, Isabella's garden is a feast for all the senses: Cool's rich and rewarding illustrations stun the eye and Millard's brilliant language appeals to the ear as it evokes the life cycle of a garden in an unforgettable way. It is the story of Isabella's garden where the soil is 'all dark and deep' and where Isabella and her friends plant the seeds that emerge into a glorious garden, changing with the seasons until Jack Frost comes and all that is left is a well-feathered nest and a handful of seeds.
This beautiful story uses as a basis the old rhyme This is the house that Jack built, with language rich with alliteration and imagery. The repetitive and quite challenging rhyme will challenge older readers while younger children will love to listen to the rhythm of the words.
Wonderful illustrations are full of vibrant colours, rich greens, purples and reds, with lovely patterns on the clothes and hats that the children wear. Jack Frost is a wonderful creature with a jester's hat and incredible mantle of 'sequins and shimmer' that he spreads over the garden.
This is a very worthy addition to a library and classroom and an outstanding gift for children.
Pat Pledger

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