|image source: Amazon.com|
The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder & Samantha Cotterill (2017)
Laurel loves her next-door neighbor Honey, who is an avid gardener. Honey teaches Laurel about the joys of fresh-grown food, and the love of growing and tending plants and animals. One day there's a "For Sale" sign outside Honey's house--Honey needs to move in order to take care of a sick parent. Laurel tries to warn Honey about potential dangers of her new home, but Honey correctly interprets these warnings as Laurel's way of saying, "don't go" and "I'll miss you." Laurel wonders why Honey bothers planting strawberries, since they won't be ready until after she's gone, and Honey tells her that the garden belongs to everyone, really. Just as she ate grapes planted by someone else, the strawberries will be enjoyed by the next owners of the home. Together, they plant a tree in Honey's yard, and say goodbye. Eventually a new family moves in and Laurel teaches them about the garden. This one is probably too long for toddlers, but would work for preschool storytime or a special-event type storytime or farmer's market outreach.
Themes/Topics: Gardens, friendship, moving, moving away, nature, food, vegetables
Sample text from the wordiest spread:
We walk to the porch for a cool glass of water. "When will the berries be ready?" I ask.
"Next summer," says Honey.
"But then...you won't be here to eat them." Honey takes off her gloves.
"Nope," she says. "But someone will."
"That's not fair," I say. "It's your garden."
"This garden isn't really mine,' says Honey. "It belongs to everyone."
"But you did all the work," I say.
Honey shakes her head. "I didn't plant the grapes. I only ate them."
"Then who did?"
Honey shrugs. "No way to know. But that's just fine. The new folks will enjoy these strawberries, the way I enjoyed the grapes. And if they add something, the garden will keep going...maybe forever."