Every person on the planet can make a huge difference, even being just one in billions. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown tells a story that will empower children with its rich storyline and progressive illustrations. It seems to be a book that will trigger a few questions about the environment-and probably a request to start a garden.
If You’re Curious…
The Curious Garden is about a little boy named Liam, who is exploring his drab and dreary city one day when he stumbles upon something most unexpected-a tiny struggling copse of plants. They obviously don’t have a gardener to look after them, so Liam takes on the role (even though he doesn’t feel like much of a gardener) and the plants are patient while he figures out how best to care for them. As the garden grow, it becomes curious about what’s around it. First the toughest little weeds and mosses venture out, then the more delicate plants. Together, Liam and the garden begin to explore as much of the city as they can, changing it in a way neither of them imagined.
How Did The Idea Get Planted?
Peter Brown grew in the countryside, loving the outdoors. He enjoyed exploring the woods and fields around his home, and when he moved to New York City, began to wonder what things would be like if people in a big city gave nature a hand. The railroad setting in The Curious Garden was inspired by an old elevated railway in Manhattan called the High Line. It was a functioning railroad until 1980, when it shut down and was forgotten. Without anything to interfere, nature began to slowly explore its surroundings. It’s incredible, the way little plants and weeds can slowly pull steel tracks apart, and grass can sprout up and carpet crunchy gravel. Given the chance, nature will happily re-decorate and explore its surroundings-places we’ve forgotten. Now the railway is lush and green, and if you go to New York and find it, you’ll see the railway now covered in a lush green garden that winds above the streets and buildings of the city, a place that people in the city love and appreciate.
So what if people really did let nature do its thing? What would our world be like? Children who read this book are bound to wonder that-and that is a beautiful thing, because wondering can lead to inspiration and inspiration can lead to action, and nature needs all the help it can get right now. Kids will be curious to plant their own gardens, see how they grow. Seek out the green poking up through the sidewalk cracks in a seemingly grey and concrete city, marvel at how things that are dead or forgotten to people, nature sees as a perfect way to thrive and flourish and, after a bit of patience, transform that ugly forgotten thing or place into something beautiful.
The End Or The Beginning?
The ending of this book is really a new beginning. A city that was once drab and colorless ceases to exist how it was, and is now full of life and bursting with color. It was surprising to see the plants pop up everywhere all over the city and transform things, but even more surprising were the gardeners that popped up too, taking on the roles of caring for the garden as it grew. That added a whole new level of change. Let us hope this books inspires those children who read it, and they will become curious, like Liam, and find a new beginning in the end.