Mrs. Noah’s Garden

Otter-Barry. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781910959466.
K-Gr 2–In this sequel to Mrs. Noah’s Pockets, Mrs. Noah, a biblical flood survivor and practitioner of kindness, plants a garden. Mrs. Noah surveys the terrain and chooses a spot for her garden, a place that will make her new land feel like home. Mayhew’s richly textured collage art has vibrant colors and elongated lines that radiate serenity. The step-by-step momentum of Morris’s gentle text suggests a powerful inevitability to Mrs. Noah’s work, who acts as a magical Miss Rumphius, strewing seeds and tending varied plants. Readers familiar with the first book will understand why Mrs. Noah receives gardening help from the unicorns and dragons she saved from extinction during the flood; those new to the story will likely enjoy the mythical creatures as part of the lush, colorful landscape. Morris’s story asserts a case for active stewardship between people and their environment. The visual narrative reinforces the promise of nurturing through the figure of Mrs. Noah, as her green dress and blue-purple cloak swell to reveal a pregnant belly. In the final spreads, a baby joins the family as they cultivate a home among the flora.
VERDICT A verdant reminder to treasure our natural world, weaving together biblical, ecological, and magical strands.

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