The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
(Caldecott Honor Award)

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Synopsis

By the author-and-illustrator team of the bestselling The Library

Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers' faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece -- an ambitious rooftop garden -- which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile. Sarah Stewart introduces readers to an engaging and determined young heroine, whose story is told through letters written home, while David Small's illustrations beautifully evoke the Depression-era setting.
The Gardener is a 1997 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.
 

About Sarah Stewart

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Husband and wife duo Sarah Stewart and David Small have worked together on several picture books, including The Friend, The Money Tree, and The Library. The Gardener is a Caldecott Honor book. Small has also illustrated other books, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal winner So You Want to Be President?, by Judith St. George. Stewart and Small live in a historic home on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan.
 
Published January 1, 1998 by Scholastic. 36 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gardener

Kirkus Reviews

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This latest collaboration from Stewart and Small (The Library, 1995, not reviewed) is the Depression-era story of young Lydia Grace Finch, whose family's financial woes are the occasion for Lydia's extended stay in the city with dour Uncle Jim.

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Publishers Weekly

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Late in the summer of 1935, Lydia Grace's parents are out of work, and to help make ends meet they send Lydia Grace to live with Uncle Jim, a baker in the city, until things get better. Told entir

Sep 01 1997 | Read Full Review of The Gardener (Caldecott Honor...

Publishers Weekly

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To ease the Depression's burdens on her family, an irrepressible girl spends the summer with her dour baker uncle in the city.

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Publishers Weekly

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Late in the summer of 1935, Lydia Grace's parents are out of work, and to help make ends meet they send Lydia Grace to live with Uncle Jim, a baker in the city, until things get better. Told entir

Sep 01 1997 | Read Full Review of The Gardener (Caldecott Honor...

Common Sense Media

Children will be excited to see Lydia Grace create beauty from squalor, to see if she can get Uncle Jim to smile, and to see the surprise conclusion which avoids cliche.

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