The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen and Irene Luxbacher

When Poppa moves into an apartment, he leaves behind his big glorious garden.  But Theo comes up with the idea of them having an imaginary garden instead of a real one.  That way it will fit on his small balcony with ease.  Poppa purchases a large canvas for them to paint on and a pair of matching gardening hats too. The two build the imaginary garden in the same way gardeners really do.  They start with a wall, the blue sky and the rich earth.  From there, they follow the seasons with crocuses and scilla starting out in spring.  But Poppa must leave on holiday just when it is time to paint the newly blooming tulips and daffodils. Will Theo be able to handle the imaginary garden on her own?

This book works on so many levels.  The writing and art are clever and inviting.  Theo and Poppa’s relationship is genuine and winning with no saccharine contrivances.  The use of art to dream, immerse one’s self, and create connections is done with a skillful hand and never becomes didactic. 

Perfection for young art students, grandparents, and for a spring story time.   This one is appropriate for ages 3-5 and grandmas and grandpas too.