My First Garden

Tomasz Bogacki, Author, Tomek Bogacki, Author, Tomek Bogacki, Illustrator Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-32518-3
The power of memory, not a child's garden, is chiefly the subject of this apparently autobiographical book, narrated by an adult and reflective of an adult sensibility. At the beginning, a man aboard a train sees a town that takes him back to his European childhood--a safe but insular world of red-roofed houses. He recalls how being old enough to ride a bike meant pushing back the boundaries of his circumscribed existence: ""The town seemed to get smaller and smaller the further I went."" His bicycle trip one day leads him to a garden presided over by a philosophical gardener, and he is inspired to grow his own ""magical place"" back home. The story comes full circle to the present: the narrator's train arrives at the station, and there waits his son with his bike, ready to talk about his own first garden. The choice of garden as focal point seems arbitrary--the text has the amorphous quality of a reminiscence. The structure is like an album, with large illustrations alternating with beguiling, evocatively captioned vignettes; the vignettes appear to emanate from the main composition, like details emphasized in a memoir. In these ways the book approximates the fragmented recollections of childhood. Similarly, the impressionistic pastels look as if they are in the midst of materializing from out of the past. Like Peter S s's darker, more mystical The Three Golden Keys, this work evokes the sense of a vanished world--but also celebrates the exquisiteness of one's own yearning for it. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.