IN ABIGAIL'S GARDEN by Helen--Ed. & Illus. Williams


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This small collection of a dozen poems or excerpts from poems on the theme of flowers and gardens is pretty and begs for more: more poems, more connection between the characters in the drawings, more variety of feeling. Wordsworth, Andrew Marvell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Shakespeare, and others are included: a consistently respectable group, but working always within the more traditional meters and rhyme schemes. The illustrations refer to a profusion of artistic periods: on one page is a beautiful sampling of millefleurs, the patterned background of flowers in a Northern European tapestry; on another, tiles of an art nouveau derivation. The recurring intricacy of Arabic-inspired design and an Eastern disregard for perspective is tempered With occasional pages of a more recognizably Western tradition of nature study and accurate botanical drawing. Small bits tie one page to another--broken fragments of chinaware are on one page, a complete and useful set on the other; a child seen sitting in an herb garden is later drawn almost identically in a stylized paradise. If there were more such touches, if the children came to assume individual characteristics, this book would be a greater delight than it is.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton