We’ve been gardening. By that I mean that I sit comfortably in my rattan chair and keep the Resident IT Consultant appraised of what I think he should do to the garden. It’s quite nice, especially now that the weather has been warm enough and dry enough, and we’ve been longing to be out there, in the fresh air and sunshine.
This picture book by Rachel Ip and illustrated by Anneli Bray is about a garden in a country about to be overrun by a war. I wasn’t eager to read it, feeling I knew what it would be like.
Except it wasn’t.
Zara has a garden in the city in this country, where before the war there were green things growing everywhere. When things get bad, people still come to Zara’s garden, where they can feel good about what’s there, and the flowers and the fruit help make others feel better too.
In the end it becomes too dangerous to stay in the city, and Zara even has to close her garden. It looks like everything is broken or ruined and the plants dead.
But when the war is over, people return, and slowly, over time, the garden heals and so do the people and the city. A beautiful message and beautiful pictures.