Reviews /

Anna’s Garden

Authored by Sarah Hewitt
Illustrated by Sarah Hewitt
Published by Tiny Tree Books

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Anna’s Garden is a gentle rhyming book about accepting and understanding our differences.

This repetitive, rhyming story introduces us to Anna: on each page she meets someone new who asks her name and invites her to play. She is invited to play ball, climb trees, blow up balloons, hop and jump, run together. Each time Anna declines, saying it’s not something she likes to do, gives each one a plant from her wheelbarrow and carries on her way. The story ends with Anna in her garden with all her flowers she has grown and everyone she has met coming to join her to celebrate everything they have all grown too.

This is a lovely simple story to share with very young children that shows how we all have different interests and not everyone enjoys loud, highly active playing together games but prefer quieter and sometimes more solitary activities, which for Anna is growing flowers quietly in her garden. A book which encourages acceptance and understanding that we all have different likes and strengths and the importance of sharing with others.

Anna’s Garden is beautifully illustrated with a muted hazy pallet of colour and offers opportunities throughout to stop and notice the different flowers and wildlife. It would be a great book for teachers to have on their bookshelves in Early Years and Year 1 to encourage empathy and discuss themes of the difference between preferring to be alone and feeling lonely, how often loud noises can be difficult for some of us, individuality and respecting others’ choices.