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A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope
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A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  35 reviews
For a boy in a warravaged world, nurturing a fragile vine has far reaching effects in this simple, universal fable of hope and connection.

A little boy’s home has been reduced to ruin and rubble, and now a wire fence and soldiers separate him from the streams and hills he once visited with his father. But the boy sees a tiny speck of green peeping up toward the sunlight, an
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Candlewick Press (first published 2008)
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Miss Rumphius by Barbara CooneyThe Curious Garden by Peter  BrownThe Gardener by Sarah StewartPlanting a Rainbow by Lois EhlertGrandpa Green by Lane Smith
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 177)
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Charlotte
This is such a lovely book! It's a story based in a ruined village, torn apart by war, where a small boy finds a tiny green shoot amongst all the rubble of the broken homes. The story shows the little boy protecting the shoot, giving it water and tending to it in secret, until it grows too big to contain. As the vines grow they cover the barbed wire fence which seperates the boy's village from the rest of the country and children begin to come and play together. The soldiers then come and cut do ...more
Jo
A beautiful story about a little boy living amidst the rubble and ruin of a war torn country. The green hills and streams where the boy used to play, are now on the other side of a barbed wire fence and the boy can no longer get to them.

One day, the boy notices a bit of green poking through the rocks. It's a tiny plant and the boy begins to water it and take care of it, hoping it will grow. In the boys care, the plant turns into a vine that begins to grow and grow until it's covering the wire f
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Sophie Pennington
Based in a country that has been torn apart by war, a little village survives on the other side of a barbed wire fence, separated from the rolling hills once so accessible to all. In this ruined village lives a young boy and his family. One day he finds a tiny shoot of a plant climbing up through the rubble, struggling to survive. The boy looks after this plant, shelters and feeds it hoping it will survive. Weeks went by and the plant flourished under the boy’s care to become a grapevine that tr ...more
Emila Yusof
A beautiful picture book written and illustrated by Michael Foreman about a boy living in a war-torn country.

A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope tells a story of how a boy cared for a plant that he found in the grey rubble of his ruined home. He cared for the plant and the plant slowly reached and covered a barbed wire fence that was built to not let villagers crossed to the other side; to not let him walked to the hills that he loved so much.

The plant soon grew bigger to become a grapevine. The
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Erin Reilly-Sanders
I really like the idea of the story and the implied setting, but I found the scene of the children's parade at the end a little cheesy, especially as the children were depicted rather generically. However, the use of colour is really good and the poetic simplicity of the words is wonderful. The end papers with the simple silhouette of a strand of barbed wire were a nice touch.
Summary: Appropriate for even very young children, his simple but vague story depicts a land that looks vaguely like Isra
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Tasha
This story of a child’s world reduced to rubble and devastation is one that will ring true with children of war, and ring warning bells with children who have not witnessed it. A young boy lives in ruins, separated from the green hills he loves by a fence. In the rubble, he discovers a shoot of green which he nurtures. It becomes a grapevine that covers the barbed wire fence, bringing butterflies and birds, and sheltering shade. The soldiers tear down the vine, leaving it dead. It isn’t until th ...more
Tahmina Wahab
Book about the realities of war from a child’s perspective. Will enable children to acknowledge the simple things they take for granted for example, nature, warmth and safety.

The story is about a boy who lives in a war torn village separated by barbed wires. As he spots a green shoot near the rubble next to the barbed wire he decides to take care of it. It grew bigger until it became a playground for children and a place of shade. However, soldiers destroyed the boys "garden" and threw everythi
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Jess Brown
Foreman's story begins with a boy isolated on one side of a wire fence, nuturing a tiny green plant only to have it ripped out by soldiers after it grew to be large, beautiful, and protective. The boy is devastated, until the next spring when a little girl on the other side of the fence begins nuturing the remnants of the plant and it grows and spreads across the fence to his side.

I'm not sure where exactly this book is supposed to take place. It looks like it could be the Iraq or Afghanistan, o
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Beth
A beautiful book, but I had a hard time making it through without crying. A good opportunity to discuss how children live in war-torn countries.
Jascha
Found it just today in the "english-books-corner" in my german bookstore, where I always look into the the children-books-box. There´re so much very nice and often funny books, you just read in a few minuts. As "guess how much I love you" and "Zog" this is now one of my favourites. But it´s different. When I read it I wasn´t sure if it´s really for children. It´s written like a children´s book but the meaning is more for adult. I don´t know if kids would understand this. But I definitly liked it ...more
Tristan
I am 8 and could read alone. Then, had discussion with Mom about War, Peace and places in the world past and present where people are treated this way. Makes me sad inside, but grateful to have what we do.

Mom comment: I read many "complex" picture books with my children with learning elements even though they are fictional stories. It helps me when I have guidance on how to expand on a discussion when there is a page or two of "fine print" at the back. In this case, examples of places and reason
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Marissa Garcia
This tender tale of growth in the shadow of despair is an important song for peace and unity. Love.

Brittany Basalla
This book really uses the element of color well to enhance the story and bring out the theme of hope.
Jackie
A simply beautiful story of a boy's unbroken spirit even in the depths of barrenness and despair. A Child's Garden is the heart-wrenching story of being on the wrong side of barbed wire...each day longing for the green hills in the distance where joy and caring are found. His family is cold in winter and yet, he sees the beauty in the garden that grew from his little green shoot. When the soldiers tear it down, his heart breaks. Until someone, much like himself, cares for a tiny shoot on the oth ...more
Linda
Michael Foreman has offered a story of a little boy, probably in a prison camp who discovered one green shoot, and nurtures the plant. It grows against all odds into something of beauty, and large enough for children to play by and under. Sadly, soldiers on the “other side” come to rip it down. And then winter comes, but spring brings another shoot, only this time on the other side of the fence. What happens next is that story of hope referred to in the title. The illustrations are in black and ...more
Paulina
A sad book (at parts) but most importantly, a story about hope
Narmitha
If you were to find symbolism in this book, this would be a perfect one. There are so many great symbols that are so powerful and meaningful. I believe that this book is an amazing book and should be read by all ages. So basically it's about a boy who is caught in the was and is in some kind of prison filled with rocks and dust. One day, he finds this lonely plant and decides to help it. This book takes you through the struggle that the boy went through and finally finds a brand new life that ch ...more
Oana Cerchezan
This book is great for a first grade classroom. It teaches students about how plants grow with a little bit of sunshine and water. The teacher can do a science activity with the students and plant their own flowers and watch them grow over the year. On top of being a great science book, it also moves students and gives them hope, just as the title suggests. Things may not always be sunshiny, but at the end of the tunnel, there WILL be a light. It is SO important to get kids to see this, to never ...more
Kris
It's hard for me to rate this one. It's lovely and well-meant, but I wonder for whom it's intended. I am all about picture books can be for grown-ups, but this one seems to be trying to be something for everyone. I like that even when the soldiers tear out the plant, "roots are deep, and seeds spread" and the vine grows again the next spring. It feels like Foreman is trying to say a lot with this little book, and I applaud him for that, but still, it didn't ring strong for me.
Erin
Copyright: 2009
Genre: Picture Book

This is a wonderful book that shares a theme about hope. The illustration begin and black and white and color is slowly added to emphasize different points in the story. This story would be wonderful to share with children and talk about many different topics such as: why is the boy on one side of the fence? why does he live in rubble? why is the plant so special? what is hope?
Beth
I have no issue with the story - hope in the face of adversity. My issue with this book is the disconnect of the illustrations. Beautiful and well executed but the children do not seem to fit with the landscape - white/European in a Middle Eastern setting. Lacking multicultural element that would have improved my opinion of the book.
Allison
A beautiful book about war, hope, regrowth, and finding new life in the midst of constant detruction. All this, wrapped up in a small story about a boy who cares for a small, accidental plant.
Erin
This is a beautiful, beautiful story--simple enough to be understood by a young child, profound enough to speak to someone of any age.

It's about injustice, and war, and hope. And gardens.
Jen
Jan 22, 2011 Jen added it
Shelves: for-younguns-too
A story that gives a sense of the ways one finds meaning despite grim situations of living in war. Tender drawings in gray colors give way to the bright green of sprouting vine and hope.
Erin
This is a bittersweet and lovely book about growing hope. It's a nameless war-torn nation and a lovely meditation on hope prevailing over hatred.
Sean
Beautiful. I read it in Spanish; if I had rad the English, which would have been easier for me, I probably would have cried a tear or two.
Lupine
Beautiful illustrations and a lovely concept. For older kids -- would be good for opening conversations about compassion.
Victoria
A beautiful book about how beauty can come from nothing. Gives reassurance that small actions can make a difference.
Sam Browning
A book about war and hope. The illustrations led to lots of questions and lots of thinking from the boys.
Sarah
An interesting book, but I'm not really sure who it is aimed at. Sort of a book about war.
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Michael has worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, TV adverts, and even for the police, sketching criminals described by witnesses. As well as illustrating many of his own books, Michael has illustrated over a hundred books for authors such as Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie, the Brothers Grimm, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. Michael has travelled widely - to Africa, Japan, the Arctic Circ ...more
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