Caitlin is a young girl who is hesitant at first but gets excited about taking care of the garden with Grandpa Fred and the garden tools. At the end of the book, they participate in the Garden of the Year competition.
The story is presented clearly and is easy to read. The two sentences on each page rhyme with each other, bringing a nice flow to the text if read aloud.
The front cover introduces all three main characters, Grandpa Fred, his granddaughter Caitlin, and Derek the watering can, while leaving a lot of open landscape around them. The image spreads to the back cover with an open door to the garden shed and an empty bench near an apple tree and a garden patch. This feels inviting, as if you are welcomed to walk up to the characters, peek inside the shed, and jump into the story.
The illustrations are simplistic in a way that is very relatable and easy to understand for any young readers. The down-to-earth colors support the themes of the book. I enjoyed the small details, most of all Squeaks the mouse who is mentioned only on the back cover text but appears throughout the book and seems to have a vast network of tunnels around Fred's property.
The Garden of the Year is a picture book that can be enjoyed no matter how old you are. It invites the reader into the world of gardening in a fun way.
There are more books coming up in the series which are introduced at the end of the book. The author also has a good-looking website with a blog of latest news.
The Garden of the Year
5 out of 5