The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
This is a lovely book about intergenerational friendship and continuity. The book is narrated by Laurel, a little girl who is friends with her adult neighbor, Honey. Honey is an avid gardener and Laurel enjoys spending time with Honey in her yard as she tends to her garden. Honey shares her bounty with Laurel and her family. But then Honey’s mother gets sick and Honey has to move to care for her. The friends miss each other, but Honey helps Laurel understand that the garden will still go on: though Honey will not get to enjoy the berries that will fruit on the new strawberry plants she plants before she moves, others will benefit from her work just as she enjoyed the grapes that were planted by another before she moved in. Together, the two of them plant an apple tree before Honey leaves. When a new family with children moves in, Laurel befriends them and helps them tend to the garden, picking up some of Honey’s habits, such as singing to the kale. I like how the book displays the ways in which friendships change us, as we absorb some of our friends’ interests or traits that help to shape who we are. A warm-hearted and touching story. With colorful and cheerful pen and ink illustrations.