Picture books about love and loss don’t come much better than this one.
A little girl visits her beloved grandmother through the seasons. Nana loves her garden, a wonderfully wild place where nature is allowed to flourish, for Nana understands the importance of an abundance of weeds to the bees and other small creatures.
Together they enjoy the flora and fauna by day and by night, harvesting the bounties from her fruit trees and vegetable patch; and sitting warmed by a bonfire’s flames beneath a starry sky. “Blooming with life,” says Nana and so it is:
Nana though is showing signs of slowing down. Then as her garden starts to let go with the onset of autumn, so too does the old lady and when winter comes blanketing the garden with snow, all is bare, all is silent. Nana’s chair is empty save for a tiny robin perched on the back ‘neath her favourite crooked tree. It’s time to shed tears for Nana will sit there no more.
Her garden though goes on, for nature is cyclical and as the seasons turn, new life flourishes and cherished memories of Nana are everywhere. But, it’s not only the plants that grow, for we also see that there’s an addition to the family.
Dawn Casey’s flowing lyrical rhyming text reflects her love of nature and well as the love between the child narrator and her Nana. Rich in detail, Jessica’s gorgeous illustrations are the perfect complement to the telling: together they make a quietly beautiful, sensitive story that introduces death and grief in a gentle way that provides space for hope to grow too.