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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Gio’s Friendly Garden by Joanna Bruyere Cabral is a charming story about a little boy and his kindhearted ways. Gio loves his greenhouse garden, and he checks on it every day. One chilly day he meets a frog and invites him to spend the night in his greenhouse to get out of the cold. A beetle and a worm overhear him, and he includes them too. When they arrive at his greenhouse, his plants and flowers are not doing well, and he does not know why. They all rest for the night and when Gio gets up in the morning, he finds a note from his new friends. Because of the kindness he showed them, they have returned the favor by using their skills to help his flowers.
Joanna Bruyere Cabral has written a sweet story about being kind. Not only does Gio’s Friendly Garden share a wonderful message about kindness and friendship, but it also imparts some knowledge of gardens and what makes them grow. Children are naturally curious, and it is wonderful to share information about the natural world with them in such a beautiful story. Elisabeth Clover’s illustrations are perfect. Each of the characters is full of personality and the greenhouse looks so inviting. Gio’s Friendly Garden would be a delightful story to share with children in a greenhouse or garden setting. After reading Gio’s Friendly Garden, do not be surprised if your child wants to explore their own backyard. They may even be inspired to plant their own flower garden and to share some kindness.