You know how it is, you’re at the bookshop and you spot something you weren’t really looking for but just have to have. That was me the other day and the ‘just have to have’ book was Here in the Garden by Briony Stewart.
The pictures are stunning. My interest was first piqued by the Agapanthus plants swaying on the front cover! They made me think of my own row of Agapanthus plants swaying in the breeze along my driveway. Each page features beautiful pictures that show the seasons as they cycle through a year in a little boy’s garden.
The story tells of a little boy who spends the story wishing his pet rabbit was still with him while remembering all the things they did as the seasons changed. Feelings of friendship and loss are felt as the story moves through the seasons of memories and wishes.
Teacher’s Notes are available.
Once I got my impulse purchase home I was even more pleased to find the author is a fellow West Aussie! So, if you buy this book, you are truly supporting the local economy. Briony Stewart is also the illustrator. This very talented woman has a very cool website you can check out and she has a number of published titles, which I will definitely be ordering in over the next few months.
This book is a versatile addition to your teaching of the Australian Curriculum. Here is a little list of ways you might use it in your classroom.
English – Year 3 Language ACELA1482
Understand that verbs represent different processes, for example doing, thinking, saying, and relating and that these processes are anchored in time through tense.
The text changes between present and past tense at different points in the story and is a good model for showing students the effects of using different tenses.
Science – Foundation ASSU004 and Year One ACSSU019 Earth and Space Science
Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life.
Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape.
Here in the Garden would be a fabulous book to read to a class when studying seasons and changes in the immediate landscape.
Mathematics – Year Two Measurement and Geometry ACMMG040
Name and order months and seasons.
This book is a great accompaniment to a discussion of seasons, naming them and ordering them. Talking to students about what they do during the different seasons would help to connect with the text.
Health – Year Three and Four ACPPS034 and ACPPS038
Explore strategies to manage physical, social and emotional change.
Investigate how emotional responses vary in depth and strength.
Finding texts that deal with loss and grief in a realistic manner can be hard to find. This book would be perfect to help discuss feelings students may have experienced with the death of a pet. You can talk about how the boy in the story feels at different times and how important memories are to the grieving process.
It is true to say I am very happy with my purchase. This is a wonderful book and I will be returning to it many times for many different purposes.