Illustrated by Paul Mirocha
Hardbound, dust jacketed, large format
“Mr. Goethe, How did you ever learn to paint these plants so they look so alive?”
Mr. Goethe turned his kind face to me. “First,” he said, “I listen with my eyes. I give each plant my full attention, as I do you. Like friends, plants tell you their secrets only when they know you care.”
Mr. Goethe’s Garden is one of those rare books that is a classic upon first printing. A beautifully illustrated book whose tale will captivate and inspire both children adults, its story is so timeless and so multifaceted that I predict it will live for a lifetime in the hearts its readers. This is the sort of book that will be saved to be passed along to future generations of children – and will uplift and gladden them as it does us now.
Mr. Goethe’s Garden is the story of the friendhsip between an inquisitive young girl and her elderly neighbor, Johann von Goethe. Set in the 1830s as Goethe was finishing (at last!) his play Faust, Anna sees Mr. Goethe painting in his garden and decides to go paint with him. Theirs is that very special friendship between the very old and the very young – as they spend their days together, Mr. Goethe teaches Anna how to listen to plants with her eyes and see them with her heart. The plants and their cycles spring to life within Anna and blossom within her heart with a sun-drenched beauty.
*My review is based on an actual reading of a prepublication review copy, not on publisher’s blurbs. I have seen this book, read it several times, and loved it – it is among the best children’s books I’ve ever read.