Sunday, February 21, 2010

Posy Parable: Rose's Garden by Peter H. Reynolds

Rose was a dreamer, an adventurer.

But when Rose is done with her voyages across oceans and through many lands, she sails home in her seaworthy teapot, bringing with her the seeds she has gathered from each port and place she visits.

"It's time to plant my garden," she said.

Rose sails up river into the heart of a busy seaport town, where, amid the bustle and press of many old buildings she comes upon a spot that needs her work.

There she found a dusty, forgotten stretch of earth.

"Hmmm." Rose pondered. "This little patch needs some color."

But things do not go well. A flock of hungry birds pilfer her cache of precious seeds, leaving only a few remnants scattered around. And when Rose carefully prepares the soil for these few seeds and trusts them to the ground, the rain is first too heavy and then too sparse. Dry hot summer is followed by frozen winter, and although Rose waits patiently, spring does not bring the hoped-for seedlings. Rose's hopes seem forlorn.

One day a girl approached Rose with a gift. It was a paper flower.

"I made it myself for your garden," the girl said.

Rose places the bright paper flower into the emptiness of her unrealized garden, and soon other children, each with a homemade flower, bring their creations and tell her their stories, until the barren earth is ablaze with color. Rose then hears the sound of a bee and sees that among the paper flowers is a real flower, growing from the soil she tilled so patiently. Soon living blooms crowd her garden.

Rose realized that her travels were over, and she was home. Home in this amazing garden--this splash of color in the middle of a great city.

Peter H. Reynolds' Rose's Garden (Candlewick, 2009) is an inventive parable inspired by the public greenway which grew out of the barren land emerging from the demolition of the overhead highway during Boston's "big dig." Freed from the darkness of interstate flyovers, this patch of land, now open to the sun and a view of the waters of Boston Bay, is dedicated to the memory of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Reynolds latest is "a tribute to Rose Kennedy, a woman who planted her own perennial garden."

Peter Reynolds is noted as the illustrator of the very popular Judy Moody series and his own books, among them the best-selling Someday, Ish, and The Dot. (Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature (Awards))

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  • Thanks, for your spotlight on my book, "Rose's Garden." It was a real honor to create a story to celebrate the themes of Boston's newest park: The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. I shared the story over tea with Senator Kennedy before it was published. He was clearly beaming that I would name the main character after his mother. : ) He was able to read the finished book a few weeks before he passed away. My hope is that the book will draw people, not only to Boston's park, but to share their own stories in creative ways. America is a garden in constant bloom - with seeds carried on a breeze from around the world. Water. Wait. Be dazzled with what is to be.

    By Blogger Peter H. Reynolds, at 12:13 PM  

  • Dear Peter,
    I appreciate your nice comment on my review.

    I visited Boston in the summer of 2008 and saw the area, already open and inviting, where the finished Rose Kennedy park will be. It was already a beautiful spot of rescued green in that city where I love to visit.

    Thanks for your work.

    By Blogger GTC, at 6:36 PM  

  • hi

    Great read. I am looking for the book in my local store. I think i will have to order it online.
    Eager to read.


    By Anonymous anthony, at 7:45 AM  

  • WOW! It seems like an awesome book, Mr Peter (for respect)! I love your stories, Mr Peter! They are just great, so inspirational, and i never get tired of looking at your own website or your blog. You say the most greatest things and that with great meaning. Your drawings never fail to amaze, Mr Peter. Whenever i see one of your drawings i just want to get out my paper and pencil and start drawing whatever. I've always wanted to publish my own book, but when I compare the stories to yours, i realize i always kinda went along the same story line and so i stop. Then again i start on a new story, but it never seems to come straight from my head. It always seems to make a stopover first. I love to draw and am your number #1 fan!!! please please write more in your blog, i'm waiting to read something!
    signed sherin XD

    By Blogger pinkie, at 6:41 AM  

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