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The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

The Little Gardener is a very simple story. Like in any good picture book, the pictures take the story forward, with minimal but very effective text.

The detailed illustrations make the garden look like a fascinating jungle. Thanks to the highly creative drawings, the garden looks like a lush and rich forest! Fascinating details, such as the little earthworms (and many tiny natural objects that you can find in the artwork) will appeal to readers!

The story

There was once a little gardener and his garden meant everything to him. He worked extremely hard as he tended to his garden. However, he felt he was too little, and the garden was very big. There was a hint of disappointment. Yet, he continued to labour day in and day out. One single flower did blossom. It was that one flower that gave him hope. He worked hard to save the garden from dying. One night, he wished he had a little help, before he went to sleep.

While no one heard his wish, the blooming flower caught the eye of a little girl who lived in the house nearby. It gave her hope and she started to tend to the dying garden. While the gardener slept out of weariness, when he awoke there was a big surprise in store for him. His garden was alive and blossoming!

The Little Gardener
The message

The Little Gardener is a book that can be used with children as a simple story, complete with wonderful artwork. It can also be used as a starting point for discussions that are more philosophical in nature- for instance, the nature of hard work, value of persistence and nature of hope.

Without appearing moralistic, The Little Gardener echoes the eternal truth that it is important to persist, against all odds. As human beings, we need to do our duties and relentlessly pursue what we have set out to do. Just like the little gardener, we are all batting our own weeds in life! But, there is always help at hand, if you ask for it, and work for it. It also brings in the notion that sometimes help can be found in the most unexpected of places.


Flying Eye books, 2015