Kevin Henkes’ New Garden

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One of the highlights of last summer was meeting children’s book author and illustrator, Kevin Henkes.  He was speaking at a children’s literature conference sponsored by the Simmons Center for the Study of Literature, and he was one of the reasons I signed up.  When I saw him standing in the back of a room (talking with Avi), I thought: ” He looks like everyone else.” Unless you knew better, you wouldn’t know that he is a superman of books for young people.  He doesn’t just write and illustrate award-winning picture books, he also writes wonderful middle grade novels.  If he didn’t seem so nice, it could be quite depressing. 

Henkes is the creator of beloved characters like Lily (she of “purple plastic purse” fame) and Owen and Chrysanthemum and the Kitten who thinks the moon is a bowl of milk.  His new book, My Garden,  is lovely – imaginative and sweet and the perfect spring picture book.  The garden in this book blooms in a young girl’s imagination.  The bushes grow jelly beans and the tomatoes are the size of beach balls.  But luckily, the book’s heroine does not need to worry about bunnies nibbling the fruits (or candies) of her labor.  The bunnies are chocolate, and she eats them!


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