Monday, September 27, 2010

:: inspired reading :: the imaginary garden with guest blogger deanna

watching the clouds go by print: jennifer lommers


i've asked a dear friend, deanna, to be my first-ever guest blogger! she's always inspiring me with her wisdom + wit, kindness + generosity, supermommying + love of handmade. she's a delight & i know you'll love her too. in her series: inspired reading, deanna shares & discusses a fabulous book,  as well as a beautiful indie-find garnered by her reading of it. yay to  great books & great friends!


During a recent camping trip, my little reader and I decided to investigate the woods near our campsite. As we were stuffing our pockets full of red leaves and collecting handfuls of acorns, I realized that summer was ending. Fall is a beautiful season, my favorite in fact, but as September departs, I'm already mourning the end of those lazy summer days in the park, me and my little reader laying on a blanket under the trees, perfect blue sky above the canopy, all the neighborhood gardens in bloom, gladiolus and hollyhocks, towering sunflowers peeking over fences. I will miss it all.

Then this morning, I pulled from the shelf a new favorite book: The Imaginary Garden, written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher. This charming children's story centers on the tender relationship between Theodora and her grandfather, Poppa. Poppa and Theo love gardening together, but when Poppa moves to an apartment, his new balcony proves too windy to accommodate a real garden. Theo is heartbroken by the thought of going without flowers, but she and Poppa soon discover the perfect solution when Poppa props a large canvas against the balcony wall. Donning gardening hats, Poppa and Theo take up their paintbrushes and set to work creating a beautiful imaginary garden.

Today I asked my little reader if she'd like to make an imaginary garden of our own. It would be as simple, I told her, as going to the art supply store and buying the biggest canvas that I could carry. We'll get out our paint bottles and brushes, put on old t-shirts, and lay the canvas on the lawn. Together we'll paint petals and stems, grass and leaves, dirt and sky, and more than enough sunshine to see us through the colder months ahead.


about the blog author: Deanna does most of her reading in Guelph, Ontario, where she's a stay-at-home Mom to a spunky 5-year-old daughter. Besides reading, she spends her time writing, baking, and hanging out at the park.


wonderful! thanks so much dear deanna!
little rikrak + i love this book, too! and we loved how it inspired handmaking with kids, too!
so how about you?
have you read the imaginary garden?
what did it inspire in you?
read a book that's inspired YOU lately? 
please tell us! we'd love to hear!

have a create-your-own-fun kinda day, nicies!
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  1. Our family loves anything by Sandra Boynton. The writing inspires my little ones to use imaginative language for hours after reading!

  2. love that book! thanks, D.

  3. i love Sandra's books too, Misty! So fun!

    thanks so much deanna! yay!

  4. Wave by Suzy Lee is so inspiring. Beautiful art work, and no your kids can tell their own story they see and feel it. Its magical.

  5. We love "Library Lion" by Michelle Knudsen for its sweet tale and the beautiful illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. My girls love storytimes and big cats so this book is close to perfect.

  6. I'm still playing with "Meanwhile" - a wonderful comic book which reading system is based on mathematics, thus producing different stories and story endings. You can basically choose a path your story will go and be involved in different adventures.
    Suitable for older kids.

    Created, written and drawn by Jason Shiga (not a surprise, Shiga is a mathematician).

  7. Whenever I'm lacking in inspiration, The Art of Knitting: Inspirational Stitches, Textures and Surfaces never fails. It shows where in the natural world ideas for stitches can be found, I love it!

  8. i am only two chapters into "the happiness project" but i love it! i just need to find the time to read the rest... (i should have time on my plane ride to montana next week)!


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!