Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Linnea in Monet’s Garden

Linnea in Monet’s Garden

Christina Bjork
Illustrator:  Lena Anderson 
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
R&S Books, 1987   ISBN: 978-9129583144

Linnea and her good friend Mr. Bloom both love gardens and they particularly love to look at a book about the garden which was created by the famous painter Claude Monet. Lena is delighted when she and Mr. Bloom manage to arrange a trip for them both to go to Paris. From there they will be able to make the short journey to Giverny where Monet’s house and garden rests.

The two friends have a wonderful time in Paris, visiting the sites and also going to the museum where they can see some of Monet’s work. Linnea finds out why Monet and his friends were called "the Impressionists" and discovers that Monet had a very unique way of painting which seems to capture light and texture in an almost magical way.

At last the two friends make the journey to Giverny and to the pink villa in the fabulous garden, for indeed, Monet’s garden is even more splendid in real life than it was in Mr. Bloom’s book. Linnea sees many of the places that Monet painted including the famous lily pond and the Japanese style bridge which arches across it. She is also able to tour his home and most amazing of all, she meets Monet’s step-great-grandson who tells her all about Monet, his life, and his family.

Through Linnea’s fresh and excited eyes we discover a whole new world in the art of Monet. We also learn about a man who faced many hardships before he found peace and security in the pink villa with its beautiful garden. Full of photographs, reproductions of Monet’s art, and Lena Andersen’s wonderfully happy illustrations, this book is a treasure and one which can be read again and again. Linnea is a character who will delight gardeners and art lovers alike.