Noah's garden by Mo Johnson
Ill. by Annabelle Josse. Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 9781921150159.
(Age 3-7) Recommended. Noah has a wonderful time playing in the garden. He flies in silver seaplanes, bathes with soapy tigers, and rides on clumsy camels. Just one thing is missing. When will Jessica be able to come and play with him in the garden?
This is based on the true story of Jessica Titmus, who was born with a congenital heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).Mo Johnson vividly brings to life the inner world that Noah has created while he impatiently waits for his baby sister to come into the hospital garden. His imagination runs riot as he plays in the fountain, swings on the swing and digs in the sandpit.
With beautiful language full of imagery, Johnson shows the love and resilience of his parents and grandparents and how they encourage Noah to use his imagination to help him over a difficult time.
Annabelle Josse's illustrations complement the text beautifully. On the left hand side of the page she has drawn an illustration showing what is happening in the real garden and on the right hand side is a full page drawing of Noah's imaginative adventure. The plants in the garden are gorgeous and the people are brought to life with warm expressions.
This is a book that deserves a place in all libraries. All royalties earned by Mo Johnson for the sale of the Australian edition of Noah's Garden are being donated to the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in Melbourne.