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The Curious Garden

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  5,455 Ratings  ·  603 Reviews
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 be
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Hello! My name is Mr. Message. You probably know me from my countless appearances in books, especially the "for children" variety. It's my job to expose a universal truth or support a cause. Sometimes I even tell the reader how they should act. As you may know, I can be controversial.

Sometimes, people get upset when authors make it really clear that I'm coming to the party. They put me front and center, and the story takes a back seat. Hey, I can be preachy if that's what the author wants! I don
Lisa Vegan
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Monica (for Liam); curious and nature loving children and their adults
Recommended to Lisa by: Lee
This book completely charmed me.

It reminded me of how when I was young blades of grass growing up through the sidewalk cracks had me fascinated; I could examine them for long periods of time and enjoy myself thoroughly.

Liam the city gardener is a really wonderful character. The garden taking over the previously lifeless city is inspiring and there are funny and sweet moments.

The illustrations are beautiful and fun to look at.

Until I joined Goodreads I’d never lost my fondness for children’s and
Both the illustrations and text of Peter Brown's The Curious Garden are expressively nuanced, and the change from a grey and depressing urban wasteland to a blooming, green metropolis is in many ways truly magical and inspiring. The very concept of nature actually having its own mind, of nature taking over if given even just a bit of encouragement, or being simply left alone, is also a very hopeful and refreshing sentiment (especially for those of us living in urban, very nature deprived environ ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
I am in love with this book!!! It touched my mind, my heart and my imagination. Liam is an adorable, thoughtful, creative boy who gently cares for and appreciates the bedraggles remnants of a garden--the only plant life in the city. Yet, the garden is also a personality in this story. I don't want to give anything away, just encourage everyone to read this book! The illustration at the end almost brought tears to my eyes it is so beautiful! I am sure I am talking this up too much, but, hey, what ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A rather dystopian story about a drab, ugly, polluted city where people spend most of their time indoors. Liam, however, likes to wander outside, and one day discovers some plants struggling to grow on an old train trestle. As he tends the plants, his garden grows and spreads around the city. As it spreads, people begin to notice and leave their homes to enjoy the greenery and help tend the plants. It's a lovely story of the greening of a community and its effect on the inhabitants. One person c ...more
Kayla Edwards
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a really neat way of showing how a single idea, when properly nurtured, can take root and expand to touch other minds and sprout new ideas. Or you can keep it simple and it's just a book about how plants can spread far and wide. Either way, a nicely written book with fun illustrations.
Crystal Marcos
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book to add to any children's collection. Love the story of the little boy who brought beauty to his city. I think children will find it fun to read about a child who cared enough to tend to a garden on an abandoned railroad. This little boy's act of kindness spreads beauty throughout the city. The illustrations were lovely and classic. I enjoyed the author's note at the end and finding out what inspired him to write this charming story.
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
They say that children's books are inherently didactic. Particularly those of the picture book variety. There's an idea that you can't tell a story to a child without including some of your own personal values in the midst of the tale. And this may be true since immoral children's books are few and far between (Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book excepted, of course). The trick then is to tell a tale without bludgeoning the child over the head with the message. Get too preachy and both kids and parents will ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
although i like the idea and the story telling, it sadly doesnt make it u to my top fav's by Peter B.
So many of my friends had spoken so highly of this that I was afraid by the time I read it I'd be somewhat disappointed. I'm very pleased to say that I was wrong. Even with all the "hype" this little book still managed to touch my heart by the second page and hold me till the end.

What I love about this book, is not only the wonderful idea of a garden as something of a sentient being, wanting to explore the green-less city around it, but also how the young gardener in the book is such a happy boy
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mehmet Erkurt
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gerçek bir olaydan yola çıkan, keyifle önereceğim bir öykü. Doğanın direncini, kararlılığını, insan ona biraz olsun izin verdiğinde nasıl serpilebileceğini hatırlatıyor. Benim gibi distopik romantiklerin o çok sevdiği "betonu parçalayan doğa" imgesini daha küçük yaştan hayal gücüne yerleştirmek; doğayı öykünün esas kahramanı, "kazanması" gereken "iyi"si olarak konumlamak, bugünkü bağlamda ekilecek en verimli tohumlardan biri olabilir.

Peter Brown'ın öyküleri de çizimleri de kaçırılacak gibi değil
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children - baby to 2nd grade
Recommended to Merry by: BOTNS
Charming little book about a boy named Liam, who creates a garden in an unlikely place. A nice story with quality illustrations to match. Add a packet of seeds and/or some small child gardening tools with this book for a wonderful children's gift.
Chaise Carter
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, library-school
My favorite picture book that I read this year.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful read. I love how it connected to the Highline in Manhattan. I think it was also really cool that the book was printed on recycled paper. It spoke to the importance of nature in our lives without being preachy. A very accessible message for all ages.
I used this book for garden themed story times in May. With detailed, intricate drawings, it is not the best for this purpose, especially really large groups (for me that means more than 20-25 children) but the story read well and the colors are vibrant.

The Curious Garden is about a little boy who lives in a dirty, smoggy place who happens to stumble upon a patch of plants on some abandoned tracks. He tends to the plants and they begin to grow vertically and horizontally. They follow the tracks
Tricia Douglas
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very cute picture book about a boy who lives in a drab city with no color. He finds a corner near some old railroad tracks where a few weeds are growing and decides that these plants need a gardener. As the weeks roll by and he helps the plants grow, a garden appears. Along with the color from the plants, the city also looks a lot better. The garden spreads and more people begin planting gardens. It's a beautiful book with a simple story, but one that children will see as exciting and able to ...more
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
A perfect picture book that gives a magical feel to the act of improving one's own little place in the world. Liam begins taking care of some neglected plants by the railway and a whole garden crops up. In time, the neighbors are inspired to create their own green places, and the dull gray city is transformed. Based on the Highline railway in Manhattan that was abandoned in 1980, this book is sure to inspire nature lovers everywhere!
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A story about a boy who stumbles onto some plants that are trying to survive on an abandoned railroad tracks. What ensues is a passion within the child to garden and tend to the plants, while bringing beauty to a dreary city. I love how the illustrations are layed out on the page. Especially the one with the overhead bridge with the railroad tracks on them.
Sarah Bahn
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Curious Garden is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. My three year old also adores it. I hope this book becomes a classic that is read for generations to come. Thank you Peter Brown for your thoughtful personal remarks at the end - my son and I always read that part too and discuss nature exploring.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
A delightful picture book about a boy who creates a garden on abandoned railroad tracks. This book was a hit with my kids.
Luisa Knight
A story about a little boy that finds an abandoned railroad track and nurtures the plants that grow there.

Ages: 4 - 7

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a picture book, but it struck me as much as anything else I've read recently - maybe more. The story and illustrations have the makings of a classic. If you take the story as a metaphor, it can be applied to just about anything that makes the world a more human-friendly place. A nice coffee table book for anyone trying to find and nurture a little bit of hope.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bill McCullough
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book that I already know I will want to read again for the pure pleasure of the whimsical illustrations, quiet message, and character growth as an old railroad track winding above a city transforms into a green garden with the help of a little boy, Liam. Would be great for a longer read-aloud or lap book.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-ya
A little boy discovers a neglected garden and tends it and it takes off!
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We really enjoyed this story. It was a little bit of fantasy, botany, and ecology wrapped into a beautifully illustrated book. The message is clear, but not preachy, and the story is inspiring. Our girls loved the tale and liked pointing out different things in each of the pages. It was a wonderful book; one that I just know we'll borrow from the library again.

I recently read The World Without Us by Alan Weisman and I was reminded of it while reading "The Curious Garden." Peter Brown's book tell
Amy Forrester
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Liam lives in a dark, grey city devoid of plants and gardens. Everyone stays inside; everyone but Liam. He loves to explore the city. One day he finds the stairway to an abandoned elevated railway. There he finds a few plants struggling to grow over the old rails. So Liam returns every day to tend the plants. Soon the garden expands to cover every corner of the railway. The years pass and Liam not only grows to become a better gardener, the garden grows as well. It leaves the confines of the rai ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Liam lives in a city where there is no greenery, just buildings, sidewalks, train tracks, factories, and streets. One day as he is exploring the now abandoned train tracks, Liam discovers something extraordinary: wildflowers and plants. These plants need a gardener, and Liam happily gives himself the job, not aware of what an amazing impact he will have on his city.

This is a sweet story about the environment with beautiful illustrations. In fact, the illustrations were probably my favorite part
Teachers often consider that they may change the world one classroom, one lesson, one student at a time. The same idea works here. When a youngster named Liam happens upon a garden in need of tender care, he becomes a gardener and nurtures it. The garden's plants flourish, and it begins to stretch past the railway that is its home. During the winter months, Liam is unable to take care of the garden, but he is quick to care for it once spring arrives. Curiously, others just like him have begun te ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book, is both enchanting as well as captivating as beautiful, and vivid illustrations bring the words to life on every page. Following a young boy named Liam, the story describes his "quest for a greener world," as he attempts to bring color and life back to the city he lives in. Peter Brown's illustrations transform as the story continues moving from dark and depressing, to vibrant and engaging. Young readers will love searching for Liam as every page portrays him working and building upon ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Brown is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books.

"Peter has always loved telling stories. Growing up in New Jersey, he told stories by drawing whimsical characters and scenes from his imagination. Then, as a teenager, he fell