Young Joe lives in a dreary grey world of high-rise flats and office blocks so it’s fortunate that he has a fertile imagination that allows him to mind travel to a world of gigantic plants and extraordinary animals, a world he would love to be real.
One night his bedtime reading sows the seed of an idea in the boy’s mind, an idea that next morning, sends him out searching for the tiny thing – a real seed – that will give life to his idea.
Having finally found one, Joe plants it, waters it, puts the pot on his balcony and waits; but nothing seems to happen, so he forgets all about it and returns to his daydreams.
All the while though, unobserved, that little seed is growing and one day Joe is thrilled to discover a beautiful little tree has grown up. That’s the start of his balcony garden and before long everyone in his neighbourhood has become involved in project transformation. The world Joe and his neighbours inhabit is no longer grey and humdrum; instead thanks to one boy’s imagination and infectious enthusiasm it is transformed into a glowing city of gardens absolutely bursting with the glorious colours of nature.
With its themes of the importance of nature and the power of co-operation, Sam Boughton’s debut picture book is, like the long awaited arrival of spring this year, thoroughly uplifting. Her enthusiasm for the natural world bursts forth from every one of her mixed media scenes of nature in the ascent; and that splendid final foldout showing the verdant cityscape is topped only by the explosion of riotous colours of the floral endpapers thereafter.