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From the Studio


So often, one book leads to another. In my book Old Bear, there is a sequence of illustrations of Old Bear’s dreams. The dreams are of the four seasons. When I was painting the spring illustration, I thought it would be nice to do a book about spring or flowers or a garden. This was the beginning of My Garden.

Many of the characters in my books use imagination: Lilly has her disguises; the narrator of Birds imagines the clouds as birds; Kitten from Kitten’s First Full Moon sees the moon as a bowl of milk. But My Garden is about imagination in a way that the other books aren’t. The book is a catalog of a little girl’s imagination. The girl creates—in her head—the garden of her dreams.

My wife loves gardening—I’m sure this had something to do with the creation of My Garden, too. I am not a gardener, but I am very good at weeding!

Here are some early sketches…

Kevin Henkes is the creator of many books for children, including My Garden, which went on sale today! He has written both picture books and novels, including Olive’s Ocean (for which he received a Newbery Honor), Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, and Kitten’s First Full Moon (winner of the Caldecott Medal). He and his wife, Laura Dronzek, live with their son and daughter in Madison, Wisconsin.

One Comment

  1. Janelle says:

    My daughter absolutely loved this book. She decided she would want to grow toys in her garden.

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