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When an old man returns to his childhood home, an old manor house where his father was chief gardener, he sets to work with his shears and the garden is transformed.
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Grade 1-3?A poignant tale of an elderly man's return to his childhood home where his father had created unusual topiary figures many years before. Overgrowth and neglect threaten the once-thriving formal garden. As the man busies himself with the task of reinstating the grounds to their former beauty, he is transported back in time. Through happy memories of his father's garden, he capably transforms the unkempt bushes into copies of the original statuaries and clears the fountains. Real critters roam freely across the estate; some make it their home. Andrew's brown and gray pencil illustrations in the opening pages echo the text's somber mood as the man evaluates the garden's condition. Warmer, but muted, greens and blues pick up the pace while the protagonist busily clips and snips. The final spread is still muted but details colorful birds, butterflies, flowers, and animals as readers see the child that was. On the surface, this story is a fairly gentle remembrance, but scattered throughout the pages are disturbing faces, hands, and a haunting image wrapped in a tangle of vines. Young children will take from this book what they can understand: the animal and fruit shapes, etc. Some older children will think it's sappy or just pointless. Others may enjoy its eerie qualities. But most won't understand the nuances of this complex story.?Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Millbrook Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0761301410