Loni Edwards

Illustration and Paintings in Digital, Watercolors and Ink

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Curious Garden

My choice this week for  Perfect Picture Book Friday is the book The Curious Garden 

Title:  The Curious Garden

Author/IllustratorPeter Brown

Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2009)

Theme:  Imagination, Nature/Gardening, Environmentalism

Ages:  P and Up


There once was a city without gardens or trees or greenery of any kind. 

Most people spent their time indoors. As you can imagine, it was a very dreary place.

However, there was one boy who loved being outside.

Amazon’s Synopsis:  One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time.

While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.


National Geographic:  Create your own mini garden

Kidsgardening.org has info on creating a kids’ garden

Communitygarden.org has a great site with information links on gardening in the inner city

The White House has a neat youtube video about the garden there, it’s history and it’s current state.

Heirloom seeds.com  And Seedsavers.org – great places for buying seeds

Why I like this book:  I love the message of this book. To be more green, especially in cities is a challenge that all of us need to address. Liam turns a gloomy town into one full of brightness and joy.  This book is a wonderful starter in introducing the concept to small children. The illustrations are magical. This book is a treasure!

Here is an adorable interview with Peter Brown by Jack Fisher from CBOMC 🙂


Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

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  1. Darshana 10/02/2012

    I fell in love with this book when I first read it. I love the message of nurture and caring and how it helps the plants thrive. Then in return how the thriving plants help transform the cityscape and the people who live there. Glad to see this book is now in the Perfect Picture Book Library!

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Hi Darshana,
      I agree, the message of caring and nurturing is an excellent one to teach young children. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. Joanna Marple 10/02/2012

    Love this message and the idea that a child can have such a big, positive influence on his environment making it a better place for everyone!

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Yes, it is really fun to see the town transform at the end of the book. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Jennifer Young 10/02/2012

    I love Peter Brown’s books, especially this one. Great choice and thanks for sharing.

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      This is my first one I’ve read. I can’t wait to find more though. I love his storytelling and art style!

  4. Stacy S. Jensen 10/02/2012

    I’m loving the environmental theme of this week’s picks. Fun interview too. This seems like a great fit for my neighborhood. It’s new and needs more green – one garden at a time.

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      I just love the idea of turning something gloomy into something so vibrant. A very cool idea for a story! Thanks for the comment Stacy!

  5. Eric Van Raepenbusch 10/02/2012

    I read this book when it first came out and your review made me want to check it out again!

    Before we moved, we had a nice little backyard garden. My children really got into composting, planting, watering — and of course eating! I hope we can find a nice place at our new house for a garden.

    Lori, thanks for the review and for liking my post on Facebook today!!

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for the comment! We’ve had great fun with our little garden we grow each year. We do square foot gardening and a compost. I hope that you find a nice spot for yours this year! It’s a great learning experience for kids.

  6. Penny Klostermann 10/02/2012

    Isn’t this a wonderful book???? I sold books to public and school libraries for a book distributor for a couple of years. We mainly carried series, but this was one of our single picture books. I loved it and read it over and over. When the next season’s books came out, I donated it to an elementary school library. And I have more to my story. That fall, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. They always have a really large group made up of family and friends. One of their friend’s daughters was dating Peter Brown at the time (I have no idea if they are still dating) and they came to Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law said his name and that he wrote books. I asked, “Is he published?” (I didn’t remember he’d written The Curious Garden). So I googled it and I couldn’t believe it. Is he published???? Is he published???? Oh my!!!!
    I had just started writing. You will be proud…I mainly listened and asked if he had an agent/editor. I asked a few more questions about his books. But I did not ask to use his name or any of those annoying things. Right after Thanksgiving I bought Children Make Terrible Pets. I went to the library and read all of his other books. I couldn’t believe that I got to meet him.

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Oh wow Penny! This beats my Pierce Brosnan/Liam Neeson story! AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing. I just love his stuff. I want to check out Children Make Terrible Pets soon!

  7. Patricia Tilton 10/02/2012

    Loni, This is my kind of book! I absolutely love it and will have to check it out! Is it based on a true story, or just encourages kids to think environmentally? Watched the interview and it was precious. The child was so subdued at first, but lit up with his idea for a book. Loved it!

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Hi Pat! Yes, that interview was so cute, wasn’t it? I agree about little Jack. His story was so cute! I hope he wrote it 🙂

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill 10/02/2012

    I LOVE this book, Loni! Thank you so much for putting it on our list! I grew up in the city and used to dream of a roof-top garden… maybe every city child harbors a secret desire to create something beautiful and wild 🙂 I love all the resources you included as well. Wonderful choice! 🙂

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Hi Susanna! You are welcome 🙂 It’s funny, I’ve always wanted to be a city kid, but never really thought about lack of land and vegetation. I think I would miss that. Yes, a roof top garden would be a must for me! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Kirsten Larson 10/02/2012

    This sounds like a great Earth Day selection. I’ll have to share it with my MOMS group when we take a tour of the dump and recycling center.

    • Loni Edwards 10/02/2012

      Kirsten, you are right! This would be PERFECT for Earth Day! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Natalie 11/02/2012

    I love the idea of this book! As a family who left the city for open green spaces, it sounds like a book we would love.

    Great choice, Loni!

  11. Heather 11/02/2012

    I love the cover of this book and I need to see what’s inside! Thank you for sharing this one and it’s a good time of year to be thinking about gardening season.

  12. Julie Hedlund 11/02/2012

    I love this book too. Great choice!

  13. Erik -This Kid Reviews Books 12/02/2012

    I love gardening. We usually have an herb garden every year. I like your links and I am going to see if the library has the book 🙂 Thanks!

  14. Kelly Korenek 12/02/2012

    I read this book aloud to my students and they loved it! What a cute interview-next time I read this one I will have to show it to the students. Thanks, Loni!

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