cover image Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten

Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten

Bob Graham / Author, Bob Graham / Illustrator Candlewick Press

Although the welcome wagon is nowhere in sight when the Summers family moves into their new house, the chipper clan quickly plants a garden and soon feels right at home. But oldest daughter Rose is curious about the spooky house next door where ``mean and horrible'' Mr. Wintergarten lives. Word on the street is that he has a ``dog like a wolf'' and a ``saltwater crocodile'' that he rides at night that ``GETS YA!'' Undaunted by the rumors, Rose and her mother venture through the old man's gate to retrieve Rose's lost ball--and to deliver cookies and flowers. Mr. Wintergarten's gruff attitude masks the fact that Rose's kind gestures have begun to melt his heart, and soon the neighborhood has a new friend. With humor and insight, Graham's text authentically conveys the language and emotions of childhood. Without being heavy-handed, Rose challenges some confining stereotypes in the name of humanity. Graham's bright ink-and-watercolor illustrations portray the Summers family as a likable hippie brood--Mom wears a Gandhi-like robe with sandals and a headband; the children are named Rose, Faith and Blossom--and Rose's dot-eyed innocence speaks volumes. Ages 4-up. (May)