*This book was received in exchange for a review
I have never thought of myself as a gardener. We have one plant in the house because it is the only one that has survived my inept horticulture skills. But last year, I got some sweet potato vines and managed to keep them alive through the summer season. With my confidence growing, I bought and planted a David Austin rose bush this year.
And as silly as it sounds, I have gotten so attached to that little rose bush…I have watered it, trimmed it carefully, fretted over it, and actually dreamed about it. In a season of my life when fertility has been all consuming, it has been a tremendous blessing to cultivate something and watch it grow. And my daughter Caroline has been right by my side. Each morning we look over the rose bush and exclaim how big it has grown.
So, reading through this book with Caroline was a wonderful echo of what we were doing this summer. Joanna Gaines has written such a relatable children’s story about their family journey to becoming gardeners, from over watering one ill fated fern to learning how to tend their glorious gardens.
Julianna Swaney’s beautiful illustrations invite you to linger a little longer on each page. Caroline loved all the details, from the butterflies to the flowers to the vegetables. Every illustration is an opportunity to learn more about nature through curiosity and whimsy.
Joanna Gaines writes with a light touch, making nature fun (worms as undercover agents!) and approachable. Caroline was engaged and enchanted. It is a sweet read, and a wonderful book to help connect kids to beauty of nature that is around them.
It was powerful for me to read too…since I’m new to gardening, I feel very childlike (and in awe!) about how this all works. Often times, I stand back with Caroline and look at our rose bush and think “wow…I did that.” I kept it alive, I nurtured it, I protected it…and it grew and thrived! And it looks beautiful.
And that perhaps is the greatest lesson in this book…that while it takes time, we all get to participate in cultivating the beauty around us.
You can purchase the book here on Amazon (affiliate link)