March 23, 2023


Poet Jordan Scott and illustrator Sydney Smith (the same award-winning duo behind I Talk Like a River) are back with their latest stunning title My Baba's Garden.

A young boy remembers his visits to his Baba's house every morning. He helps her tend to the garden and watches her move about the kitchen as she cooks. Baba never answers the door when he arrives each morning, but the narrator knows he can walk right into the house and feel at home, and they don't talk much while they eat but the narrator feels close to his Baba anyway. In particular, they share the experience of gathering worms for her garden, walking slowly and carefully through the rain to find them. And when Baba isn't able to walk the child to school anymore and look for worms, the boy vows to do it on his own in her honor.

Smith's watercolor and gouache illustrations focus heavily on greens and reds, with the greenery of the garden acting as a lush backdrop for red cheeks and rain coats. There is a strong feeling of warmth in each scene due to Smith's mastery of light: Light pours through windows and lingers in the atmosphere, illuminating and elevating Baba's presence in every scene. Smith switches between full-bleed spreads and large paneled images on bright white paper.

My Baba's Garden published earlier this month from Neal Porter Books. You can also read an interview I did a few years ago with Sydney here!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my policies & disclosures page.

No comments:

Post a Comment