Published: 27th February 2017
Publisher: Penguin Viking (imprint of Penguin Random House)
Format: Hard cover, courtesy of the publisher
When a little girl moves from the country to the city, she is sad to leave behind her beloved backyard garden. But then she makes a magical discovery near her new home and soon friendships as well as flowers are blooming.
Florette: meaning a small flower, and the Latin name for a Roman goddess of flowers.
Anna Walker never ceases to amaze me. Not only has she written the sweetest little picture book, but she has also illustrated some of the most stunning images that I’ve ever seen; Florette is a true piece of art. What’s more the combination of Walker’s simply but elegant text and her beautiful illustrations ensure that the story’s heart and gentle nature is capture perfectly on every single page.
Florette is a book about change, patience, persistence and adaptability. Here is a small child whose whole life has been surrounded by luscious gardens and space now confined into a small apartment in a sprawling urban city. With the loss of her beloved garden, Mae tries to reconnect and recreate her oasis to no avail. Until she finds a new one, all of her own making.
It’s a book that speaks from the heart; a sweet book about a young girl’s desire for her beloved garden and the road she takes to establish one of her own. It’s a perfect learning tool for young kids, and one that will hopefully inspire others.
Walker’s illustrations are second to none, and some I find myself often seeking out time and time again. No matter how many times I’ve read this book now, there is always something new and exciting to discover within the folds of the pages. It’s a sensory overload of the best kind.
With subtle environmental notes, Florette is an extraordinary tale for young children and adults alike. Here is a book that speaks of childhood innocence and longing, about our place in the world and the love and care we have for it. It seeks to illustrate how limited our relationship with nature has become and all it takes is that one spark for hope to grow.
Florette is a beautiful and one of a kind picture book that will leave you with a smile on your face and a desire to harvest your own picturesque garden in no time.*
*As a girl with no green thumb, post reading this book I’ve found myself gazing at the smallest of pot plants and watching it slowly but lovingly grow.
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