Here in the Garden

Briony Stewart

University of Queensland Press, 2012

Reviewed by Janine Kitson

This picture book, written and illustrated by Australian author Briony Stewart, is about how a garden can carry the memories of a special friend.

The wind is raking through the falling leaves
and I wish you were here

The book shares, with tenderness, how gardens can be healing places for grief and loss.

This is a book to share with your school’s learning garden class.

Small group/pair discussion

1. Which pages identify summer, winter, autumn and spring?
2. If you have a school garden, how is it similar to or different from the garden in this book?
3. Look at the pictures in the book. What makes up a garden?
4. What “mysteries” can you find in a garden?
5. What feelings did the young person in the story have about the garden?

Suggestions for learning activities

1. Drama warm-ups: digging, raking, watering, planting, weeding.
2. Find the best and brightest leaves from your school garden.
3. Art: Draw and colour the different shapes of leaves blowing in the wind.
4. Art: Lie on the grass. Look up at the clouds. Find pictures in the clouds. Then draw them.
5. Write your own story about a friend who you wish was with you in the garden.

Janine Kitson is on long service leave.

All books are available to borrow from the Federation library.