Children’s Book: “Grandma’s Garden” Author Tania Fisher, Illustrator Riley Hagan
Review by Lori Beedsler
A simple and inviting title, once you enter “Grandma’s Garden”, you will discover an absolute delight of treasures. It’s a secret and special place that is only shared between a grandparent and their child, as they walk the broken stone path together and leave the parent inside drinking their tea.
Author Tania Fisher is skillfully adept at entering a child’s mind and has an innate understanding of how a child receives and perceives a story. She has carefully arranged her words to be from a child’s perspective. The message is clear: this is a special private place that only Grandma and grandchild share, where Grandma tells the same stories and the same comments are made as Grandma points out all the same special items strewn about her “flora playground.” Fisher has cleverly touched upon the crux of children’s behavior without banging us over the head with the message; children love repetition, and walking the same path with Grandma and saying the same things about the same items offers the child a sense of safety and security, and the fact that this special private excursion into the backyard is prompted with a special wink and a squeeze of the hand, all resonates strongly with young children who love that feeling of a special place and the same information that they adore hearing about.
Grandma’s Garden does hold a surprise or two and on this specific visit, with the discovery of a butterfly’s cocoon, which not only serves up a learning opportunity, but also prompts the set up for an additional adventure on their next outing together.
Illustrations by Riley Hagan provide just the right amount of detail without pandering to the tempting simplistic and smooth lines one might expect in a children’s book. Hagan offers a lovely mix of black and white sketch-style drawings mixed in with vibrant bursts of color and specifics. The clever design and use of color is smartly reserved and used only on “garden-related’ items which is a great touch that children will enjoy discovering for themselves and pointing out, and the wonderful burst of color upon entering the garden are completely delicious.
“Grandma’s Garden” is an unencumbered delight, planting the seeds of the special aspects of the importance and value of cross-generational relationships.
Suitable for ages 3 to 6.
Available in-store at Shakespeare & Co, 2020 Broadway (at W68th Street) and also available online here: