Revealing the variety of life underground, the bright comfort of a greenhouse on a winter’s day, or the anticipation of starting seeds indoors in early spring, this striking alphabet book celebrates the simple joys of gardening. Without neglecting the frustrations—the nibbling critters and the toil—or wry, humorous moments spent in the garden. Mary Azarian’s spare words and lovely woodcuts capture the essence of turning a bare plot of ground into fragrant flowers and lush vegetables and trees. Her depictions of insects, manure, and compost piles are as delightful as her fountains, pumpkins, and Queen Anne’s lace. Whether we are young or old, our gardens both exhaust and renew us. They are our source of magic and wonder and perhaps our best way to live closer to the land and to the rhythm of the seasons.
About the Author
Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian is a consummate gardener and a skilled and original woodblock artist. Many of her prints are heavily influenced by her love of gardening, and her turn-of-the-century farmhouse is surrounded by gardens that reveal an artist's vision. Mary Azarian received the 1999 Caldecott Medal for SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. She lives, skis, and gardens in Vermont.
The stunning black woodcuts, hand tinted with strong watercolors, are full of action and detail, showing men, women, and child gardeners with their tools and the rewards of their labors, with small creatures visible here and there. Each page can inspire conversation between an adult and child who may then do some gardening of their own. School Library Journal
“Each print pulls back the curtain on a charming country scene, a stand-alone tableau telling the tale of a gardening-related word. . . . Mary Azarian knows gardening from her Wellingtons up, and her knowledge and love show in her artwork.” —New York Times Book Review New York Times Book Review Notable Book
“As satisfying for young armchair gardeners as a seed catalog in winter, and inspiration for all gardeners to get out there and begin digging.” —Boston Sunday Globe Boston Globe