Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Isabella's Garden” as Want to Read:
Isabella's Garden
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Isabella's Garden

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  35 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Isabella's Garden, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Isabella's Garden

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Anne Hamilton
Nov 16, 2015 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it
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
Danielle Butler
Oct 10, 2013 Danielle Butler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winners
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
Jun 22, 2013 Matthew Hunter rated it it was ok
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
Jul 14, 2016 Pam rated it it was ok
I did not like this book for numerous reasons. First and foremost, Glenda Millard, the author, appears initially to be following the growth cycle of a seed but abruptly she minimizes or glosses over things like the seed germinating. Then suddenly she is writing about flowers, were these flowers that germinated from the seed? It is as if they miraculously appeared. At that point the text becomes random and overly wordy. The repetitious text is just irritating and not lyrical at all, and would be ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2013 Gail Gauthier rated it it was amazing
"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
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
Feb 07, 2016 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Very bright and colorful and I like the use of different patterns on the children's clothing. Drawings are whimsical and have a floating feeling. It is a "building on" story like "This is the house that Jack Built" or "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly," with rhyming, repetition and alliteration. Fun to read aloud for story time or rhyme time. Would be fun for each child to have a line and say it as the story builds and continue with that line with the group reading aloud all through the ...more
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.
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.
Sheila Callahan
Jul 08, 2012 Sheila Callahan rated it did not like it
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.
Feb 09, 2016 Kiersten rated it really liked it
This has follows the rhythm and repetition of "The House that Jack Built." I typically don't like reading books like that to my kids, but in Isabella's Garden repetition incorporates lovely poetry on the changing seasons which, combined with the whimsical illustrations makes a beautiful book.
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.
Sep 04, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing
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.
May 02, 2016 Shelley rated it liked it
Shelves: age-4, nature
I like the idea of this book it with got a little too wordy for my three-year-old. but I like seeing the cycle of how the seeds were planted and grown and the autumn came and then the seeds were planted and began spring again. it feels like a kids song
May 10, 2016 Heather rated it it was ok
H said he didn't like this book based on the illustrations but you can't judge a book by it's cover. Then he lost interest very quickly because he didn't like the repetitiveness of the rhyme. I don't blame him.
Sep 05, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
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.
Aug 14, 2012 Brindi rated it really liked it
this book reminds me of "The Napping House." It has the same repetition as the classic....a fun book for spring!
Apr 16, 2012 ReadingWench rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly in pattern.

Bold and vibrant illustrations.

AR 5.6
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,
Feb 28, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
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.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 13, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The story of Isabella's garden told to the rhyme of "The House That Jack Built." Lovely, vibrant illustrations.
Apr 23, 2012 Shelli rated it it was ok
Using the building block writing style of "The House that Jack Built." The story got a bit wordy and to drawn out though.
Beth rated it it was ok
Oct 30, 2012
Alexandra rated it liked it
Jul 03, 2014
Mandy Graydon
Mandy Graydon rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2016
carlos andres adams
carlos andres adams rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2015
Heidi rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Demolition
  • Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors
  • Just Ducks!
  • When Blue Met Egg
  • The Herd Boy
  • A Kiss Means I Love You
  • Dog Loves Drawing
  • I Know a Wee Piggy
  • Andrew Drew and Drew
  • Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
  • The Obstinate Pen
  • A Bus Called Heaven
  • Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book
  • The Frank Show
  • Crafty Chloe
  • Plant a Kiss
  • Hibernation Station
  • Cindy Moo
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...

Share This Book