09 Oct / Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds
Here’s a joyful little gift to share with your children over the long weekend … you don’t have to buy the book (although you eventually should), you can click here for the “telefable” version of this gorgeous, heartwarming story that celebrates a young woman’s spunky determination and hopeful patience that ultimately builds a welcoming community.
The Kennedy men have long been the subject of endless headlines, leaving the Kennedy women eclipsed more often than not. But honoring the late Kennedy matriarch, smack in the middle of Boston, is a wide-open space called The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, 15 acres of greenland comprising gardens, plazas, and tree-lined promenades.
The latest title from Peter Reynolds (So Few of Me, Ish, The Dot) is also dedicated to Mother Kennedy, “a woman who planted her own perennial garden.” After collecting seeds from all her travels (in a floating teapot!), Rose finds the perfect patch of empty land to start her garden. By the time she’s prepared the soil, the birds have had a feast of her seeds and she has but a few left. She waits patiently for the remaining few to finally sprout, enduring the challenges of each new season, waiting with faithful patience.
Seeing her alone, one by one, a new child presents her with a homemade flower … until the garden grows and grows: “Each told a story about coming to this city … having journeyed from all over the world, like seeds carried on a breeze.” Mixed in with the children’s stories and their colorful flowers, Rose’s seeds finally flower into the mix. “Each flower, real or paper, had appeared around her because Rose believed. Her faith had gathered a garden – and the stories of a city.”
Reynolds reveals on the back flap that he, too, “came to America as an immigrant, but calls Boston his home.” In a post-9/11 America where immigrants are far too often questioned, persecuted, and just not wanted, Rose’s Garden gently reminds us that we are all a community of immigrants – even the near-mythologized Kennedys, the ultimate American family. “She was home. … Surrounded by stories and flowers. Here in Rose’s garden. Everybody’s garden.”