Daily Archives: January 16, 2015

(story)time: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Last weekend I took down the majority of our Christmas decorations, and last night M and the girls hauled the large live tree out of the house and off to its new life as happy mulch in someone’s spring garden. The living room looks so large now with the extra space, and it’s about to look even larger as we finish off some of the painting projects in the center of the house and move some extra pieces back out of the living room. We’re also getting closer to picking a fabric to recover the pink chairs, so those are going to ship out for a bit soon.

This weekend I’m excited to give the space a good dusting and vacuuming, and then set up F’s new Christmas present in the corner by the bookshelves for awhile. (More on that this weekend.) In general, our rooms tend to have good corners for cozy book reading, and January seems like a prime month to take advantage of them.

The discussion in the comments earlier this week about urban gardens and pocket parks reminded me of one of our favorite books, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown.

The Curious Garden

Liam lives in a big city, and the story opens in a very industrial mix of buildings and elevated railways. Everything looks about the same shade of rust, until he notices this tiny patch of green peeking out from all the steel and rubble. He’s intrigued, and he sets out to see if he can keep that little patch alive, and help it spread.


I especially love reading this story in the winter. As the growing garden begins to hibernate, Liam uses the time to read and study and plan for the next season. When spring finally arrives, he holds his breath to see if the garden returns. It does. It thrives. It grows, and it starts to attract new gardeners of all ages.thecuriousgarden_02 two-page-garden

There is something about winter that makes me long to be a gardener – to start to plan early for the coming season, purchasing seeds and sketching out layouts and planting schedules. It’s not anything that I ever see through – I’m perfectly content at this stage of my life to purchase food from other farmers (that know what they are doing, and have the time to do it), but there is a natural draw – an appeal – to watching and tending a growing garden around you. I think this is what makes this book so enjoyable to read, especially this time of year.


This book is perfect for younger readers between three and eight, and older readers might be interested in researching a little more about urban gardens and park design, especially The High Line in NYC, which served as inspiration for this book.

Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!