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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.