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Isabella's Garden

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  29 reviews
This story tells the tale of growth and change in Isabella's beautiful garden - the flourishing of plants, the coming and going of the animals, insects and seasons - beginning and ending with the seeds that 'slept in the soil all dark and deep'.
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Walker Books Ltd
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Anne Hamilton
With a storyline reminiscent of The House that Jack Built - but with a circularity where the end returns to the beginning - this is a lush poetic tribute to Isabella and her garden.

It almost seems like a cliché to describe this as lyrical, sensitive and evocative - because almost all of Millard's works are plump with luscious imagery - and I'm starting to feel repetitive in my descriptions of her work.

The illustrations are vibrant and rich and, although strong and vivid in their own right, I'm f
This is a story by an Australian author and illustrator patterned after the structure of The House That Jack Built. Lovely and rich, full-bleed illustrations from endpaper to endpaper. Bright colors decorate Isabelle's many friends as they help her year-round in the garden. I can appreciate the cooperative theme here. The combination of patterns and painting in this book are visually appealing. There is great vocabulary to pull from this verse. I am surprised that all the children in the story h ...more
Danielle Butler
The text in this book is very fun because it mimics the tune of "The Green Grass Grows All Around." As a child, I loved singing that song because I liked the repetition of it so I was able to really relate to this book. This could be a very helpful book in teaching life cycles and seasons. Each page of this book is brightly illustrated. I love how the clothing of each person is unique and shows different textures and designs.

This book holds an "Outstanding International" award. Referring to the
Matthew Hunter
Isabella's Garden utilizes the same repetitious building pattern as The House That Jack Built and (at least to an extent) Green Eggs and Ham. If Siggy's lukewarm reception is any indication, Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool weren't quite as successful as these others. Why? Best I can tell, the folk art style didn't work for her. (Personally, I liked it!) As the story progresses, it gets wordier and wordier. Entire pages are crammed with text, limiting the artwork's ability to help tell the story. ...more
Christine Turner
In Isabella's garden, amazing things come from the tiniest of seeds as they bloom and flourish and make way for a whole new season of growth.


A lyrical, uplifting picture book explores the growth and continual change that goes on in a much-loved garden. This is the sun that kisses the clouds that cried the rain that soaks the seeds that sleep in the soil, all dark and deep, in Isabella's garden. In Isabella's garden, amazing things come from the tiniest of seeds as they bloom and flourish a
Following the same pattern as The House That Jack Built and The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, this title follows the seeds that Isabella plants as they eventually sprout and flourish. Not only does the book contain a great message about sustainability, but it also features powerful language such as "clouds that cry the rain" (unpaginated), "the buttercups waltzed with the wind" (unpaginated), and even, as the growing season concludes, the frost that falls on the ground, "encrusting the g ...more
Gail Gauthier
"The illustrations have more of a Tomie dePaola vibe, but dramatic, rather than cute, with intense primary colors. The major hook is the "This is the house that Jack built" text.

This is the soil,
all dark and deep,
in Isabella's garden.

These are the seeds
that sleep in the soil,
all dark and deep, in Isabella's garden.

This is the rain that soaks the seeds...

...a beautiful book in both word and image. Beautiful may not be a strong enough word. Perhaps I should call Isabella's Garden stunning. This co
Attractive illustrations. Good to read aloud.
A "House that Jack Built" style rhyme that goes a bit beyond the pattern to include the change of seasons. And changes within the rhyme as time passes (a fledging grows up and leaves the nest), until at the end we have come full circle, with Isabella planting seeds in the bare earth again in spring.
Really bright-colored illustrations add appeal.
Author & illustrator are from Australia.
This cumulative story follows one year in Isabella's garden from planting, to sprouting, to harvest, to winter. Mixed media illustrations give the book a folk art feel with thick paint lines, bold colors, and textile prints. Personification, strong verb choices (both present and past tense forms), and sound elements make this an outstanding mentor text for vocabulary enrichment and poetry exploration.
I loved this book! The text is reminiscent of "The House that Jack Built." This story tells about the changing seasons. Great for any child, but is near and dear to my heart because it is an excellent book for a Pagan child. Rowan and I will read this one once she is older.
Sheila Callahan
This would be a useful picture book to read to a class studying the life cycle and seasons. Personally I didn't care for the primitive-style artwork, and I found the text a bit too dense, but I'd be willing to try it again. It could be the type of book that grows on you.
Lynda Shoup
Vibrant, bold colors and cheerful inviting characters make this book one I can't look away from. The text is a layered text much like This is the House That Jack Built. Great book to add to an elementary library collection. I'll be adding it to mine.
Allison Parker
A wonderful expansion on the traditional storytelling structure of "The House that Jack Built." Beautiful imagery with bright, folk-inspired artwork. My only gripe is the lack of brown-skinned or even brown-eyed people in the illustrations.
I really like the folk art quality of these illustrations, its a great play on the old rhyme "The House that Jack Built", at one point it feels like it skipped part of the pattern though.
This is a lovely book full of fun language and beautiful illustrations. It's a cumulative story so it's a joy to repeat the language.
Using the building block writing style of "The House that Jack Built." The story got a bit wordy and to drawn out though.
Edward Sullivan
The story of Isabella's garden told to the rhyme of "The House That Jack Built." Lovely, vibrant illustrations.
this book reminds me of "The Napping House." It has the same repetition as the classic....a fun book for spring!
Nov 02, 2010 Jazzy added it
Isabellas Garden is a short listed book it was entered in the Readers cup as well as
Mr. Chicken goes to paris,
Reminiscent of the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly in pattern.

Bold and vibrant illustrations.

AR 5.6
Learn in this rhyming book how seeds grow, bloom and flourish with Isabella in her garden.
Lyrical; in the style of The House That Jack Built, but different enough to keep interest.
Beautifully illustrated. Rhyme builds on itself (like this is the house that jack built)
Shannon Tullamarine
I love how Glenda Millard's words make music as they dance across the page. Delightful.
Top Ten Crafts and Gardening Books for Kids 2013 (Booklist)
Yoo Kyung Sung
Read aloud will be fun with this book. Aussie book.
Along the lines of this is the house that Jack built.
Great for my great nieces/ love it
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Glenda Millard was born in the Goldfields region of Central Victoria and has lived in the area all her life. The communities she has lived in and the surrounding landscapes have provided a rich source of inspiration and settings for many of her stories.

It was not until Glenda's four children became teenagers that she began to write in her spare time. She is now a full-time writer.

Apart from writin
More about Glenda Millard...
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