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A CHILD’S GARDEN by Michael Foreman


A Story of Hope

by , illustrated by

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4271-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Foreman specifies no locale for his brief parable, but there’s a Middle-Eastern look to the buildings in the background (although the characters are all pale-skinned). Amid the drably hued rubble of a bombed town isolated from an undamaged city by a tall, barbed-wire fence, a child spots a small green shoot. With TLC, that shoot grows into a lush grapevine that hangs over the barbed wire and draws beautiful birds and butterflies. When soldiers tear it down, the lad “thought his heart would break”—but the following spring new shoots grow on both sides of the fence and, silently joined by a girl on the other side, the boy sees the vines grow and intertwine to cover the barricade more luxuriantly than ever. Closing with a view of hundreds of flower-carrying children walking together through a fenceless, now-verdant landscape, this vision of persecution and rebirth carries a broad streak of sentimentality, but will make an effective starter for peacemongering discussions with young audiences. (Picture book. 6-8)