cover image The Bear’s Garden

The Bear’s Garden

Marcie Colleen, illus. by Alison Oliver. Imprint, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-31481-9

A black girl sees “the big, bustling city” as “a place to grow, a place to play, a place to love” in this affectionate ode to a community garden. In striking illustrations that combine sharp geometric forms with expressive brushy textures, Oliver shows the girl planting a seed in a tomato can that tips off the windowsill: “One night, the girl’s imagination/ spilled onto the sidewalk,/ rolled across the street,/ and sprouted.” “A baby garden!” she exclaims, caring for its seedlings until the unlikely lot blooms into “A place to grow,// A place to play,// A place to love,” watched over by a beloved bear the child left behind. In an author’s note, Colleen shares the foundation of her fanciful tale: “The Pacific Street Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden was founded in 1985 and named for a teddy bear that was sitting in the weeds.” Ages 3–6. [em](Mar.) [/em]