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ISABELLA'S GARDEN  by Glenda Millard


by Glenda Millard & illustrated by Rebecca Cool

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6016-1
Publisher: Candlewick

In sonorous cumulative verse, a seasonal round set in a garden rich in color, flowers and children.

Beginning and ending with the soil “all dark and deep,” seeds sprout, rain falls and flowers “waltz with the wind.” A songbird hatches, leaves turn, a mantis vainly prays to the moon “that winter come never or not quite so soon.” Jack Frost dances past, leaving an empty nest and “a handful of seeds for the wild wind to blow. / Enough, just enough, for a garden to grow.” Against backdrops of vibrant greens and blues, Cool poses a group of stylized children with distant eyes widely set in modernist, Picasso-esque faces, dressed in brightly patterned clothing and busily digging, watering, playing and, in season, harvesting. Millard introduces subtle changes in wording to the repeated lines to stave off monotony, and the leaves and patterns in the pictures create a dance of color that rises and falls in energy as the annual cycle turns.

At once stately and soothing—a fine choice for bedtime sharing or for calming ruffled spirits in general. (Picture book. 6-8)