Published November 2011 Roaring Book Press
From the publisher:
Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green's great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten.
I am a Lane Smith fan, he has illustrated many books (receiving a Caldicott Honor award for The Stinky Cheese Man) and especially with the the release of It's a Book (which spent 6 monthe on the New York Times bestseller list) earlier last year, everyone should recognise his name.
I like this book a lot, but I don't think it will be for everyone as I don't think it has an obvious audience. I think some writers just write for the story's sake, not with a readership in mind. It's a lovely story, told by the great grandson of Grandpa Green who has started having trouble remembering certain things, like wher he left his hat. He can tell you all about his life though, as he has created a menagerie of topiaries in his garden to remind him of everything from getting chicken pox, his first kiss, going off to war and meeting his wife.
Young readers will like the clever illustrations (the cannon is a particulary good one) and adult readers may just get a little teary, especially if they have someone in their life who is starting to forget.
If you want to look at it from a school/classroom point of view, it might be an interesting introduction to family histories and how we remember things.
Who will like this book: Adults and if the adult loves it, the whoever they're reading it to will love it also.
Read it if you like: Lane Smith or Our Grandparents by Maya Ajmera