New growth

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon in our little garden. It has definitely been in need of some work and care after the heat of the summer months. We added fresh compost on to the garden beds and planted some broad beans, some coriander and some broccoli seedlings. It was a good feeling, even knowing that there are an infinite number of future tasks waiting…

For #bookmatchmonday hosted by @mrpaynereads in the week of Earth Day, I put together two inspiring and optimistic picture books about restoring the land and the healing power of nature.

In The Lonely Giant by Sophie Ambrose (Walker Books @bigpicturebooks @walkerbooksaus), the hulking giant spends his days destroying the forest and the rocky mountains where he lives. Eventually he starts to realise the effects of his bashing crashing habits. He is lonely without the wildlife which used to surround him and only has a couple of sticks to make a teeny tiny fire. Slowly the giant realises what he needs to do to repair the damage, and begins gradually restore and replant what once was there. The illustrations add so much resonance to the pared down text here – it’s a brilliantly presented story.

The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray @janerayillustration (Orchard Books) feels like many old tales combined, but it also feels immediate. It certainly caught my daughter’s attention, who regularly requests this one. The story begins in an impoverished kingdom after the death of its Queen. The King challenges his three daughters to demonstrate to him which of them is fit to rule the kingdom after he dies. The youngest, shy princess remembers she had kept a box of her mother’s which contained a tiny apple pip. She begins by planting this one seed; more and more people join her bringing and plant their own seeds, sharing their experience of the land. The kingdom and the family are transformed.

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