“This is my busy green garden.” So begins this lyrical tribute to the bugs, bees, and birds that make the garden such a busy place. With each turned page, more visitors appear, and all the while the “surprise”—a chrysalis—changes unnoticed until, on the last page, a butterfly emerges and flies away across the garden’s well-tended borders. Back-of-book notes about the natural histories of the garden’s denizens complete this lovely and lively portrait of backyard nature, which is also a gentle meditation on the rewards of paying attention. A chipmunk hides on every page to divert and engage young readers.
This is My Busy Green Garden is a beautiful celebration of nature that uses a gentle, cumulative rhyming text and lush illustrations to bring a vibrant garden to life. Each page introduces new characters commonly found in North American gardens – a ladybug, a honeybee, a hummingbird and more, including a very special surprise guest on the final page.
The text is soothing and rhythmic, and would make for a lovely read-aloud, though it does get quite long towards the end! The repetition of lines works works well as a tool for supporting vocabulary development and literacy building.
The artwork is stunning, and there are plenty of colourful details on each spread for young readers to examine and explore.
There’s a great gentleness to This is My Busy Green Garden that’s immensely appealing. While I love zany picture books with madcap humour, and I’ll always be drawn to stories with cheeky meta elements, there’s something very refreshing about a picture book that doesn’t rely on gimmicks, and which simply uses gentle poetry and beautiful artwork to tell its story.
I also appreciated the end material, which provides additional information on all of the critters introduced in the text.
My Busy Green Garden is a lovely picture book that would make for a perfect spring or summer read, especially when followed by a visit to a local garden!
My Busy Green Garden
Hardcover, 36 pages
March 1, 2017 : Tilbury House