This book was a Caldecott Honor book in 1998 because it has amazing pictures. Did you know Sarah Stewart and David Small are married? Well they are. They have collaborated on a number of books, all of which are fantastic. The Gardener is a favorite of mine simply because it would be impossible to not love this sweet, plucky little gardener doing her best to make the world, her world, more beautiful.
Gardening with Grandma
This book is a collection of letter from Lydia Grace Finch. first to her Uncle Jim who she was going to live with due to the depression and her family's lack of money, and later in the book, when she was living with Uncle Jim, back to her family.
Sending her off to Uncle Jim in the city. What a terrible time the Depression was.
She had packed some of her favorite seeds though, so she was assured of having a few of her good friends near her, even if there was no one she knew at Uncle Jim's.
The cavernous city train station.
When she gets to Uncle Jim's, in true gardener fashion, she looks at the potential for flowers. Window boxes!!
She also notices that Uncle Jim doesn't smile.
Lydia learns to work in Uncle Jim's bakery, under the tutelage of Ed and Emma Beech, Uncle Jim's friends who work in the bakery.
One day, she decides to go up the fire escape and finds a secret place of her very own to beautify.
Her grandmother sends her seedlings, making Emma Beech laugh.
Lydia and Emma have the window boxes looking marvelous. Neighbors bring containers for Lydia to plant for them. She is now known as The Gardener.
Finally it is time to show Uncle Jim the secret place that she has been working so hard on.
Since it was the fourth of July, they greet him with sparklers.
A week later, Uncle Jim closes the shop early and invites everyone up to the rooftop garden Lydia made. He brings a fancy cake and a letter from Lydia's parents that she can come home.
And then there are goodbyes. Lydia leaves her plants in Emma's care. And hurries home.
Home, where her and Grandma can get back to their gardening.