A few weeks ago I took my daughters to the library. They often choose authors they know, usually ones that have funny stories & lots of pictures. I browsed the shelves & was taken by the beautiful cover I had in my hand. The title of the book is Tokyo Digs a Garden I didn't have time to read the back & see what the story was about, I just thought it had the most gorgeous illustrations.
"Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again? One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?"
Not only did they like it, they requested this book almost every night before bed. I did a bit of research on the Canadian author as I was curious if he had other books I could get. Turns out that the illustrator is his brother-in-law & this is the authors first book. Jon-Erik Lappano: "The idea for the book actually came to me over a decade ago. I was working as a landscaper in Toronto, and there was a designer at the company who was very influenced by Japanese gardening. So as someone gardening in the tiny backyards of Toronto, transforming concrete squares into complete ecosystems, I started daydreaming about a child who plants seeds that overtake a city."
He wrote the story & used his kids to test out what parts seemed to intrigue or bore them. My girls are 5 & 7, I personally think this book would be good for children who are younger as well. I often try to choose a book instead of a toy, when my daughter's attend a Birthday party. If you love to give the gift of reading I suggest you look this one up.
I recently discovered Melbourne based artist Jessie Breakwell. "Her work is offbeat, quirky and full of wonder. Jessie’s vibrant paintings evoke a sense of enchantment and fun providing light relief and a satisfying diversion from inescapable reality." She began this journey 6 years ago & now runs her own gallery.
She offers original paintings as well as prints & does a lot of commissions of dog portraits. I think I love her Jungle Series the most. I can't get enough of these Zebras!
A few more weeks until school is out & summer holidays are in full effect. I'm going to try my best to stay organized & paint while my daughters are home with me. There will be many trips to our local library & lots of new books to get excited about. Last summer I got a lot accomplished in my little home studio, cross your fingers this year is the same.