Friday, 29 May 2015

The Little Gardener

The Little Gardener

By Emily Hughes  
Published by Flying Eye Books

Being a huge fan of Emily's debut picture book, Wild (I reviewed the paperback edition earlier this month), I was ecstatic to find out she was doing a second book with Flying Eye. That second book is called The Little Gardener, and what a feast for the eyes it is! 

The story revolves around a garden, not the prettiest of gardens, but a garden nonetheless. Within this garden lives a little gardener, he lives for his garden, it brings him joy, it is his home. The only thing is, this little gardener wasn't particularly good at gardening, but he worked hard everyday, but it didn't make much difference as he was just too small to keep on top of it all. But there is hope in the form of one flower, a flower that has blossomed and stands proud amongst all the weeds and clutter. But despite all the little gardener's efforts, the garden was dying. He would lose his home, his food source and most importantly his meaning. So one night he makes a wish... (you'll have to read it to find out what happens!).

Compared to Wild, Emily's illustrations here feel a lot softer and rather delicate, but there's still the sense of wilderness with the choice of wild plants that appear in the garden. The Little Gardener has a vintage quality about it, from the earthy colour palette to the way Emily has laid out each spread by having the text appear underneath the illustrations - reminding me of Maurice Sendak's work.  

This is a wonderful second title from Emily, and I was expecting nothing less. The story is heartwarming and I adore the little gardener and his worm companion. Perfect reading for young and old alike.

The Little Gardener is available to buy from 1st June from all good bookshops and online from the Flying Eye Books website. 

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