by Andrea Cheng
illustrated by Patrice Barton
age range: 6 to 9 years old
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The year of the garden is a prequel to The year of the book and the Anna Wang Series. In this novel Anna meets Laura who, like her, has just moved into the neighborhood. They like each other right away, but sometimes it is not that easy to be friends. Even being the same age and prospect of attending the same school at the end of the summer is not always enough. They like to do different things, and have different personalities. Sometimes the different cultural background plays its part too. But they learn to focus in what they have in common, and the importance to know more about each other to better understand their interests, fears and dreams. Making a garden and saving a little bunny prove to be amazing plans to do together.
This short novel was a pleasure to read. The story is sweet, with lovely characters. It not only is funny, but it has simple facts about seeds, flowers, soil, bunnies, Chinese food and festivities, soccer, and specially friendship, and how some difficulties don't mean it is impossible. Friendship is something we build while growing in the process. And it's worth it. There are many cute illustrations along the pages, which make the layout of the book beautiful. Looking forward to read the rest of the series!
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.