The Concrete Garden (Hardcover)

The Concrete Garden By Bob Graham, Bob Graham (Illustrator) Cover Image

The Concrete Garden (Hardcover)

By Bob Graham, Bob Graham (Illustrator)

$18.99


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A timely, inspiring, and uplifting story about hope and the power of creative expression from one of the world’s most treasured storytellers

After a long, cold winter, doors finally open, and children spill out like candies from a box. Amanda is the last one out of the apartment building, with a carton of chalk in her hands. On every inch of the pavement outside, the children draw pictures of flowers and trees, mushrooms and snails, and a few very unexpected things. It’s a concrete garden. Their creativity, unfettered in the open air, brings something beautiful, something hopeful, to the residents there, and to many more across the globe. From master storyteller Bob Graham comes a charming, gentle post-pandemic story about finding optimism after a dark spell, and the nurturing power of community friendships in an urban setting. The Concrete Garden will resonate with anyone who has been apart from their loved ones, and will encourage us all to find the brightness and color within ourselves.
Bob Graham is a Kate Greenaway–winning storyteller who has written and illustrated many acclaimed children’s picture books, including “Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate; How to Heal a Broken Wing; April and Esme, Tooth Fairies; The Underhills: A Tooth Fairy Story; Max; Maxine; Ellie’s Dragon; and Jigsaw: Mystery in the Mail. Bob Graham lives in Australia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781536233803
ISBN-10: 1536233803
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: November 7th, 2023
Pages: 32
Language: English
The art of kids being kids comes alive. . . . Graham’s signature watercolor-and-ink illustrations bring it all to life beautifully. The subtlety of the storytelling makes a statement about art in a time of disease better than words ever could. . . . Deft, understated loveliness.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Alternating wide shots of the decorated plaza with tighter vignettes of the artists thoughtfully evaluating their canvas, executing their ideas, and reflecting on the results, Graham (Jigsaw) celebrates the book’s young cast as serious creators joined in sharing art’s healing power.
—Publishers Weekly

Graham tells and shows a story of children making a world with art. . . Graham does a heart-lifting job of portraying the kind of creativity that flourishes without planning, goals, or adult input when children engage in parallel play. . . In this joyous offering Graham (most recently Jigsaw, rev. 9/22) cements his role as the master of the optimistic picture book.
—The Horn Book

The story is simply told, but Graham’s sensitive ink drawings with watercolor washes give each scene a playful, endearing look. In the context of the postpandemic period, it seems natural that the children at ground level and the adults watching from above are equally riveted by the kids’ activities and creativity in this beguiling picture book.
—Booklist

The book carries a deeper message, written as a reflection on the separation and reunion of loved ones throughout the recent pandemic.
—We Are Teachers

The joy of children working together in creative pursuit is beautifully captured in Graham’s subtle lyricism and delicate illustrations. . . This read-aloud will inspire many rich conversations about community, emotions, and kindness.
—School Library Journal

Art doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. In acclaimed author-illustrator Bob Graham’s story of art’s bringing a community together, it all begins with sidewalk chalk, an apartment complex and the first warm day of spring, when “children spilled out like candies from a box.
—The Virginian Pilot