Written and illustrated by Henry Cole
‘Jack’s Garden’ is a book that builds on each page much like, ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly’. The story is simple, it’s the progression of a garden that Jack has planted. The pictures are thick with composition and rich with biological illustration.
I love the Cover illustration. I love the large, thick, bold type with the illustrations weaving through it.
I also love how all the illustrations are framed/boxed in, but the illustrations don’t feel the need to stay within those boundaries. It creates a certain parallel between emerging flowers and Jack’s garden bursting at the seams.
There is no dialogue in the book. There is no instructional information except for a page in the back that briefly states how to start a garden. The book is beautiful eye candy for a biologist/ naturalist. It is thick with vocabulary. I love the concept of the book but I am left with questions. Why did Jack chose to plant the seeds he did? What was his reaction to what was happening along the way? I don’t think the illustrations painted this well enough. Jack was missing from several pages. I think more character and emotion could have been involved. Why make science and biology so dry? Biology is really actually super exciting, let’s really show kids how exciting it can be! Mirror the the wonder and awe we really feel inside or maybe have forgotten.