Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
A Community Becomes Aware of Their Treaures in Nature
Learning the Value of Our Treasures in Nature
Cynthia Cliff's The Wild Garden is a gorgeous picture book and story that has a lesson for young readers about the treasures that are found in nature. Jilly lives with her grandpa and her dog Bleu in a small village. The villagers have a community garden where vegetables and fruits are grown for everyone to gather and share through each season of the year. There is a wilder part of nature outside the village that Jilly and her grandpa love to explore. Jilly and her grandpa find many treasures in the forest that are a special part of their life. Jilly especially likes to see the animals that live in the forest on her daily explorations. She even discovered wild raspberries one day and knew that Grandpa would make a special dessert with these delicious wild berries.
The seasons come and go and the villagers are busy preparing the community garden for planting and harvesting continuously through the year. They also must prepare the garden for the winter season. The villagers decide after one winter that the garden must become winter. Their idea is that the bigger the garden, the better it will be for everyone. Jilly and her grandpa worry about the size of the garden and how it might encroach on the natural treasures in the forest around the village. They feel that they must protect the animals, nut trees, and all of the flowers that grow in the area around the village. They devise a plan to show the villagers the treasures that are found in what they call the wild garden. The plan succeeds and the villagers decide that bigger is not better and the wild garden can live happily along with the village garden for everyone to enjoy.
The large illustrations in Cliff's The Wild Garden are stunning with the colors and the characters that are part of the story. The illustrations are filled with details that will engage young readers in finding special objects in each illustration.
The Wild Garden was published by Prestel Publishing company and is recommended for ages 4-8. It has an ISBN of 978-3-7913-7512-0.
Gorgeous and Large Illustrations With Engaging Details
Bring The Wild Garden Into Your Classroom for Fun Gardening Experiences and Ecological Lessons
Cynthia Cliff's The Wild Garden is a delightful book to add to your classroom library for children to explore gardening, learning about healthy foods that can be grown in a garden, and learning to protect the natural treasures that are found in our environment. There are many opportunities for teachers to prepare lessons to engage children in conversations about our ecology and gardening.
*Read The Wild Garden in a story time session. Call attention to the garden that the villagers grow for their community. Many schools have spaces now that allow students to plant gardens. Engage students in preparing a garden to share with the entire school.
*Engage students in learning the steps in preparing a garden.
*What are the treasures that Jilly and her grandpa find in the woods around the village?
*Engage students in a discussion of why a larger garden that the villagers wanted to make would harm the natural area around their village. How does the growth of towns and cities harm our animals and plants in nature that surround our cities and towns?
*Bring in additional resources for students to learn about helping the animals that the growth of our cities and towns have harmed when their habitats are destroyed.
*Prepare lessons for teaching about gardens that are healthy for our ecology.
* Invite parents to help harvest the garden that students plant and have a tasting activity for students to taste the food that comes from their class garden.
Organic Gardening With Children
© 2022 Cindy Hewitt