A gardener transplants a daisy into his neighbor’s lawn with surprising results.
Originally published in German in Switzerland in 1985, this unassuming story of George, an aging gardener able to converse with flowers, birds, and animals in his small garden, offers a surprising lesson in contentment. George prefers his “lovely meadow, dotted with red and white clover, dandelions, and daisies” and his untamed wild roses and bluebells, to his neighbor’s formal lawn and garden with its “splendid roses, stately delphiniums, noble lilies, and elegant carnations.” Describing the neighbor’s flowers to his own modest blooms, George feels badly when a small daisy complains that it, too, wants to grow “next to roses and lilies” instead of “weeds.” George secretly transplants his discontented daisy into the middle of the neighbor’s pristine lawn, but the angry neighbor removes the daisy, tossing it onto the compost, leaving George to orchestrate a rescue. Delicately drawn, softly edged, pastel illustrations sharply contrast genial George, embracing everything in his small, bucolic, borderless garden with its wildflowers, untrimmed trees, twittering birds, and scurrying hedgehogs, with his scowling neighbor, who violently ejects a small offending daisy from his large, formal, rigidly bordered beds of perfectly positioned flowers, pruned trees, artificial birds, and garden gnomes. Children will easily see that difference. Both gardeners present white.
The grass is not always greener in this simple, gentle, beautifully illustrated tale. (Picture book. 4-8)