The Bear's Garden
The Bear's Garden
Bookroo5.2 / 7Goodreads3.9 / 5
The Definitive Guide to

The Bear's Garden

Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Alison Oliver
Published by Imprint
Prices as of Oct 26

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

Seamlessly marrying truth and imagination, this charming story reminds readers of the importance of one person’s care and the power of community.

A nameless little girl living in the heart of the city and accompanied by her faithful stuffed panda bear finds beauty where others hurry by. She nurtures a seedling, first in a tin can, and then outside, until she has to “leave for a while.” She leaves in charge the only person she can trust to lovingly care for the garden: her bear, but not before filling him with “snuggles and cuddles.” In her absence, the garden blossoms and grows—thanks to the help of her community, who, noticing her garden, begin slowing down and stepping in to create a space to grow, play, and love. The impact of the story is magnified by the inclusion of a short Author’s Note informing readers that The Bear’s Garden is inspired by actual events, including an abandoned teddy bear that helped inspire a community garden. The descriptive text is full of imagery (“the girl’s imagination spilled onto the sidewalk, rolled across the street, and sprouted”) and a soft-touch of humor (“She thought maybe she could whisper ‘I believe in you’ from far away, but she didn’t have enough string”) that weave together to create a heartfelt story. All throughout—and even in the endpapers—the illustrations add layers of meaning and understanding to the story with well-chosen details, from the bear’s slight facial expressions and the little girl’s singular pajama appearance, to the love-inspired, bear-face graffiti location marker.

What Kind of Book is The Bear's Garden


Race, Ethnicities, & Nationalities

Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Thoughtful Citizen

    The “Thoughtful Citizen” badge is awarded to recognize exceptional books that promote exemplary citizenship.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • If we hurry too fast sometimes we miss little bits of beauty around us. Take a minute to slow down. Do you see anything you didn't notice before?
  • The little girl starts the garden but isn't able to make it happen all on her own because she has to leave. We don't have to do things all alone either. Is there something you could use a little help accomplishing? Is there something you could help someone else with?
  • The little girl starts her garden in a tin can. Have you ever grown something from a seed before? With an adult's help, give it a try!


Book Lists That Include This Book

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Marcie Colleen Said About This Book

Nothing yet! You should let Marcie Colleen know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Alison Oliver Said About This Book

Nothing yet! You should let Alison Oliver know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What kind of can does the little girl's seed first start to grow in?
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    Anna Walker
    One Little Lot: The 1-2-3s of an Urban Garden
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    The Balcony
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    Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
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Book Details

Publication Date
March 24, 2020
Text Details
The text was set in New Caledonia and the display type is Lydian.
Illustration Details
The art in this book was created with marker, pencil, brush pen, charcoal, cut paper, and Photoshop.
Page Count
Reading Age
3 - 7 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)

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Core Score - 62%

More than halfway there—keep going!

Depth Score - 37%

Just the barebones.

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