Book Review: “In the Garden”

“In the Garden” is a flap-tastic and boldly illustrated oversized children’s book that follows a brother and sister duo as they work in their garden from the end of one winter until the start of the next. Using the seasonal movements and garden habits of Plum and Robin, author and illustrator Emma Giuliani shares a story that is both gentle and informative for all the garden-curious little ones in our lives. 

“In the Garden”
By Emma Giuliani
Princeton Architectural Press, 2020
16 pages, hardcover, $27.95

With nearly 30 flaps to lift and explore throughout “In the Garden,” there is always a hidden gem of information to unearth. Children can peek inside a flower or winter squash to explore labeled diagrams; elsewhere they can open the shed door to find a collection of labeled tools. Each turn of the page reveals a new point in the season beautifully depicted across two pages. Earthworms and composting are explored during Winter’s End, while on the pages of High Summer readers can learn how to make cuttings from their plants. The oversized nature of the book allows for a great deal of content to be shared while also providing space for the illustrations and text to breathe. In a word, “In the Garden” is “soothing.”

“In the Garden” beautifully brings to life the meditative rhythm of backyard gardening through the seasons. It’s a wonderful title for gentle little explorers, full of curiosity and garden wonder.

– Julie Letowski, Washington, Maine

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