________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 16. . . .December 18, 2015


Timo's Garden.

Victoria Allenby. Illustrated by Dean Griffiths.
Toronto, ON: Pajama Press, 2015.
48 pp., hardcover, $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-927485-84-2.

Subject Headings:
Friendship-Juvenile fiction.
Gardening-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Karyn Miehl.

*** /4



In Timo’s Garden, Timo enjoys the idea of taking part in the Great, Green Garden Tour, but then he discovers the pressure involved in preparing his garden for viewing. With only a week until the tour, Timo focuses on his garden to the exclusion of activities with his friends. In the end, Timo realizes that the work isn’t as enjoyable with the pressure of a deadline, and so he chooses to take a break and invites his friends to picnic in his lovely garden.

internal art     My five-year old daughter enjoyed this book, not only for the cute story and detailed illustrations, but also because it is a chapter book (with seven chapters) accompanied by many images. Reading books like these hold her attention as there is a lot to look at while hearing the story.

      In reading the book aloud, the wordcraft of the author becomes more pronounced; Allenby’s use of consistent alliteration and internal rhyme throughout Timo’s Garden adds to the enjoyment of reading it. For example, here is the opening of Chapter 3:

On Wednesday, Timo began to feel rushed.
He trimmed and he tidied.
He buried and he scurried.
He raked and he staked.
He worked and he worried.
Would he be ready in time? Would his garden be good enough?

     Also noteworthy is that Timo, in his reflection on his garden, lists and describes many different types of plants and flowers. This detail could lead to informative discussions with children about different types of flora. Additionally, Timo’s friends are all familiar creatures (a hedgehog, a squirrel, a frog, for example), and each is personified with different personality traits and interests.

      I like that the message of putting in effort towards a task, but not becoming overly focussed on that task such that other aspects of your life suffer, is one that can be applied to various situations (school work, sports or arts activities, etc.). The idea of having ‘balance’ in life is subtly shown.

      Overall, Timo’s Garden is an enjoyable book.


Karyn Miehl, a mother of two and a secondary school English teacher, lives in Kingsville, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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ISSN 1201-9364
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