The Forever Garden – Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill


     The Forever Garden – Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill, Schwartz & Wade Books, (9780553512731), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This is a beautiful story about gardens and friendship.  A little girl named Laurel and her mother live next door to Honey and her wonderful garden.  “In sunshine and shower, in darkness and wind, Honey tends her garden…Her knees are always muddy.”  Laurel often helps in the garden and Honey shares vegetables, fruits and eggs from her hens with Laurel and her mother. One day, there is a For Sale sign in front of Honey’s house.  Laurel is sad about losing her friend, but she also worries about Honey not being there for her garden.  Honey explains that the garden belongs to everyone and that new owners can keep it going  “maybe forever.”  The two plant an apple tree together in the garden and then Honey is gone.  Laurel misses her friend, but is shown writing a letter to Honey. When a new family moves in, Laurel helps teach them about the garden just as Honey taught her.  An Author’s Note explains that the book is loosely based on a Talmudic story about caring for the earth in order to pass it on to future generations.  This is a story about neighbors, intergenerational friendships, and gardening. The illustrations rendered in pen and ink illustrations and colored digitally perfectly complement the story.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  A perfect addition to story times with themes of gardens or friendship.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?   Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/30/17             

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