Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LULU CROW'S GARDEN by Lizi Boyd

LULU CROW'S GARDEN

A Silly Old Story with Brand New Pictures

By Lizi Boyd

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-316-10419-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

The host to a set of feathered and furry friends in his garden is supplanted by the female Lulu Crow in this retelling of Johnny Crow’s Garden (1903), with full-color gouache paintings to replace the original droll pen-and-ink line drawings by Leslie Brooke. The text is essentially the same, still appearing in rhymed couplets, “And the Lion/Had a green-and-yellow Tie on/In Lulu Crow’s Garden.” Some repetition of the refrain is cut to shorten the story; a few words and ideas that may not be familiar to contemporary children have been modified. Instead of Fox putting all the animals in stocks, they’re shut inside a blue box; the stork no longer gives a philosophic talk, nor does the elephant say something irrelevant. Boyd’s simplified shapes may lack the range of human expression that so characterizes the original, but the illustrator makes up for it in playful details: Lion lounging on a garden bench; Crane sporting an umbrella in the rain; and Pig dancing on a jig. Blocks of pastel colors are rolled out like swatches of fabric to create a stretch of sea-green lawn or a patch of periwinkle-blue sky. Tiger lilies, sunflowers, hollyhocks, and morning glories serve as props that brighten each background. Young ones will enjoy the superficially silly rhyme, but don’t let them miss the nonsense of the original. (Picture book. 2-5)