Vivian's Perfectly Imperfect Garden


Children - Religious Theme
30 Pages
Reviewed on 11/25/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

Vivian is a lively little girl who loves visiting Nana because she always makes an adventure out of simple things, and she makes ooey-gooey brownies. Vivian's Perfectly Imperfect Garden by Brandy Clark is based on the parable of the sower where Jesus uses seeds sown in different situations to explain where belief and faith in Him will flourish. When Nana says they are going to plant seeds in the backyard, Vivian is keen to start! First, she scatters seeds on the sidewalk, and the birds fly down to eat them. Next, Vivian sees Nana weeding among rocks, so she throws handfuls of seeds there, but Nana tells her there’s no moisture, so flowers won’t grow. Vivian sees roses blooming and sprinkles the seeds she’s picked up amongst them. Nana explains that the thorny bushes will choke them. However, Papa has prepared fertile ground, and the seeds planted there do grow!

Jade Fang’s drawings are excellent; colorful, vibrant, and clear, with marvelous expressions on the characters’ faces. Life is lived in Nana’s house with a cat and a dog, and detail like oven gloves in the kitchen. Images are restricted to alternate pages, which works extremely well – the story is told on plain pale green, perfect for the subject, and less distracting than winding between drawings. The words used and the text font with appropriate capital letters, punctuation, and correct grammar are excellent for youngsters. I can see a kindergarten child following with a finger, learning as he or she goes, and older children could read it themselves. Brandy Clark’s Vivian’s Perfectly Imperfect Garden should have a place on every child’s bookshelf.

K.C. Finn

Vivian’s Perfectly Imperfect Garden is a colorful book for children based on a Christian religious tale and was penned by author Brandy Clark with illustrations by Jade Fang. Based on the tale of the Parable of the Sower, we meet a young girl called Vivian who is on a visit to her Nana’s house. When she asks Nana what they will do today, her grandmother takes her to the garden to plant seeds. As Vivian looks for different locations to plant the seeds, Nana explains the types of soil and the best places for them to grow, mirroring Jesus’s message about how faith and love in him can grow.

Author Brandy Clark has found a beautiful way to convey the Biblical teachings of Jesus in a vivid real-world setting. The layout of the book itself lends much to the understanding and enjoyment of the reading, with a single paragraph on alternate pages, and large, bright illustrations on the opposite page to bring the meaning and the characters to life. Illustrator Jade Fang has an eye for both depth and detail and is sure to have kids poring over the book to spot tiny elements in the garden and to follow the pets and people about the house. Both engaging for its natural world themes and its wholesome message reflecting the original parable, Vivian’s Perfectly Imperfect Garden is a high-quality children’s book all round. Overall, I would certainly recommend this book for all young children as an accomplished and satisfying work.