Welcome to the weekend, y'all! We finally have a couple of days free for tackling a number of DIY projects here in our new home. While I'd rather be sleeping in, especially because I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I know these things must be completed before we can get to the really big renovations AND before I can get my new garden beds. Just thinking of the ones I left behind in Kansas City, not to mention my beloved apple tree, truly makes my heart ache. However, taking care of them made my heart sing. So even if the new homeowners don't appreciate them like I did, although I truly hope they do, it was still well worth the time and energy I poured into them, kind of like the inspirational character in the book I've chosen to share, with you all, this month. It is written for children ages four to eight and loosely based on a Talmudic story about an elderly man who painstakingly plants carob trees, to care for his descendants, knowing he'll never have the opportunity to harvest the fruit himself.
The Forever Garden, written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill, is a story about a young girl named Laurel who lives next to a gardener named Honey. "Honey's knees are always muddy." She "pulls her beets from the ground with a shout that scares the chickens, [and] she sings to the kale." Honey's fond observer knows all her gardening habits and often shares in the harvest while sitting on the fence snacking; at the dinner table, on Friday nights, below a towering bouquet of squash blossoms, rosemary, and raspberry prickle branches; or in the garden itself under a blanket of stars. One day, a sign in Honey's front yard announces that she'll be moving soon. Laurel is understandably upset about losing a friend and curious as to why Honey continues to plant things that she'll never get to enjoy. "I didn't plant the grapes. I only ate them... The new folks will enjoy [this harvest], the way I enjoyed the grapes. And if they add something, the garden will keep going... maybe forever," Honey proclaims. Together, they plant an apple tree to remember the sweet friendship they cultivated in the garden. The new homeowners don't know anything about gardens, but Laurel has been taught by the best and happily shows their children how to weed the rows and sing to the kale.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you enjoy this one as much as I do; and if you happen to pick it up on your next trip to the library or purchase it for your own library shelves or a friend's, I'd love to hear from you. Simply leave me a comment below. Life is busy, and I'd love to know that you're continuing to enjoy these reviews. Have an amazing weekend! Mwah!