Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Uno's Garden

Uno's Garden

Graeme Base
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Abrams, 2006   ISBN: 0810954737

One day Uno came to the forest. It was a beautiful place full of gorgeous plants and exotic creatures. Uno came to love the forest and he decided to live there. So he built himself a little home and he shared the forest with the flowers, the trees, the Leaping Lumpybums, the Magnificent Moopaloops, and a very shy and retiring Snortlepig.

Soon another family came to join Uno in the forest and Uno planted a garden. Slowly but surely more and more people came to the forest until there was a village among the trees. More and more people built homes, built roads, set up businesses, put in railway tracks, and soon enough the village grew into a town; and the town grew into a city. As more and more people arrived, more and more plants and animals disappeared and the forest got smaller and smaller until none of it was left.

Now, for as far as anyone could see, there was nothing but buildings. There were no trees or animals left and the place was so ugly and depressing that the people living in the city decided to leave. More and more people abandoned the city until Uno was the only one left. Uno continued to live in his little home, tending his garden and providing a refuge for the poor quiet little Snortlepig.

Thankfully Uno, and later his children and grandchildren, were good gardeners. They carefully took care of Uno’s garden and bit by bit the forest came back. This time though, Uno’s family was determined to make sure that they maintained a balance between the needs of the people and the needs of the forest.

This book will give young readers a clear idea of what it means to protect the environment for the good of all. They will see how important it is to take care of nature, and to make sure that the needs of creatures and plants are not ignored. They will also receive a message of hope – a message which shows them that they can be a part of the recovery process, that they can make a difference and bring beautiful places back when they have been lost.

A charismatic ‘hero’, loveable fanciful creatures, and bright luscious illustrations make this a wonderful environmental picture book.