Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Magical Garden of Claude Monet

The Magical Garden of Claude Monet

Laurence Anholt
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 and up
Barron's Educational Series, 2003   ISBN: 978-0764155741

Julie wishes that she had a garden to play in. Her mother who is a painter promises to take Julie to the garden of her good friend Claude Monet, who is also a painter. Once they are out of Paris and in the country Julie's dog Louey runs away. In her search for Louey, Julie discovers a beautiful garden and in it an old and bearded man wearing a large hat. She soon discovers that the man is none other than her mother's friend, Monsieur Monet. The two new friends set off to find Louey and together they explore Monet's extraordinary garden. Julie makes all sorts of discoveries including the fact that even older painters can have dreams of creating a masterpiece which will astonish and delight those who see it.

Laurence Anholt has not only created a wonderful and magical story which is illustrated in the style of Claude Monet's paintings, but he has also incorporated some of Monet's paintings in part or in whole into the artwork. In addition he has taken some of Monet's most recognizable paintings and recreated them, placing them into Julie's world and into her story. This is a singular tribute to Monet and his work from the first page to the last, full of delightful surprises and lovely art. At the end readers will find an excellent biography of Monet and also a description of who the real Julie was.