Posted on September 17th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Encouraged to sign up for Toadstool Corners’ Great, Green Garden Tour, rabbit Timo begins feverishly planning and improving his garden. With rhythmic pairings of activity (“He trimmed and he tidied. He hurried and he scurried. Her raked and he staked. He worked and he worried”), Timo toils with boundless determination and relentless perfectionism, leaving little time to spend with his friends. Though tempted by Hedgewick’s spinach cakes, a visit to the lake, and tennis with Suki, it is only when a rainy day interrupts his efforts that Timo realizes he should have been tending to his friendships instead of his plants.
With deft pen and colour, respectively, author Victoria Allenby and illustrator Dean Griffiths pay homage to the characters (rabbit, hedgehog, mouse, frog, and badger) and gardens in the stories of Beatrix Potter while providing a light, cautionary tale about finding balance. Unlike Allenby’s fun 2013 picture book, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That (Pajama Press), which focused on true feline behaviour, Timo’s Garden takes an anthropomorphized approach and will speak to any reader who might get too wrapped up in seemingly important endeavors.
The images by Griffiths, whose artwork has graced more than 25 children’s books, complement the message. His endearing creatures, vibrant flowers, and brilliant garden designs will transport readers to a storybook world in which friends are riches not to be overlooked.”
A version of this review appears on Helen’s blog, CanLit for LittleCanadians