Sometimes big stories start in a small way. We are the Gardeners, the garden story of this family begins with a little plant that grows on the windowsill. The plant, bought by the father, becomes the focus of attention. Four little children visit the plant on the sunny windowsill and learn to care for it, water it and even whisper to it. The beginnings of this relationship with a small plant spirals into something bigger and more substantial.
The wonderful lesson of patience comes to them, as does the concept of trial and error. When the children love their plant to death, though zealous overwatering, they are disappointed. They soon learn that each plant is different and most plants have good manners and they ‘like to sip, not gulp’ water. The lessons about the science of growing plants is woven into the story which also talks about the sheer magic of growing a garden.
As their garden graduates from the window sill and spills over to the open space outside, the children have more ambitious plans. But then they share the garden with the world of insects and birds who do their own bit. Slowly, things fit into this humming hive of activity. And, not everything is well all the time. They have to deal with the ‘bullies’ in the garden, aka the weeds. And, they need to handle seemingly innocent animals who love to have more than a fair share of helping from the produce!
Gardens provide a lot of fruit- not only literally but also figuratively. The children experience collaborating with each other as a family to grow the garden as a team. They learn many of life’s lesson right in the middle of their own garden by the mere act of gardening and being a gardener!
The appealing language which explains the eternal lessons that gardening brings to us is most apt and delightful for children. The illustrations complement the text beautifully, adding fun and poignancy to the journey that the child-reader undertakes with the book. I think this is a book that brings the pleasures of gardening into the mind and heart of the reader. Well, you may soon start to grow your own garden story!
Title: We Are The Gardeners
Author: Joanna Gaines and Kids
Illustrator: Julianna Swaney
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Age group: 4 onwards