Cover Image: A Garden of Creatures

A Garden of Creatures

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Member Reviews

A GARDEN OF CREATURES by Shelia Heti is a picture book about a young bunny, a toast coloured bunny and a rose-and-buttercream coloured cat. The toast coloured bunny dies leaving the other two very sad. The young bunny has many questions about loss and asks his friend the cat. The cat doesn’t have any answers to the bunny’s questions but together they find a way to accept and deal with their loss.
A GARDEN OF CREATURES is beautifully illustrated. The story deals with loss in a sensitive way. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced digital edition of this book.
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This was a very sweet and moving book designed for children to talk about the death of a loved one. The illustrations were beautiful. I think that the book did a good job of bringing up the questions that come when someone dies, I can see how this would be important for a child and a good way of talking to them about those questions. The only thing that I wish the book would have focused on more is giving some answers, or a way to put those questions in context. I think it did, but in a kind of nebulous way, and I think it would have been nice to make that answer a little bit more concrete for children to think about.
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In the garden there are three animals in the garden.. there is a small white bunny, a bunny of toast color and a
buttercream cat.  The toast color bunny dies.  The white bunny asks questions that the cat tries to answer.   .  The little white bunny comes to the conclusion that when a friend has died, they have become the garden we live in.  The toast bunny is there with them though they cannot see him.

The lovely pastel  illustrations reveals at the end how they are still all together.  It is difficult to find an alternative way at looking at death and grief.  The author has done a superb job of doing that.
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This children's book was impactful and sweet. It talks about death and life in a beautiful way. I loved the illustrations. It was both adorable and sad. Life and death can be complicated situations to explain to a child and I think this book did a wonderful job.
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This is a sweet little children's book about grief and what happens when someone passes away. I think it could help families explain to younger kids what emotions and thoughts they are having during that time. The illustrations are also eye catching and beautiful. 

Thank you to Sheila Heti, Tundra Books, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Kind, sweet, and gentle words with wispy, subtle yet colorful drawings pulled me right into the world of “a soft little bunny, “a bunny the color of toast,” “and a rose and buttercream-colored cat.” This is a wonderful children’s book dealing with hard questions about life and death, and about relationships. The precious critters are pondering all of this in comforting, sweet, and gentle ways.

The illustrations are done in watercolors, gouache, colored pencil, and collage. Each art-filled page deserves pondering while navigating the meanings and depth of this story.

Age Range: 4-8 years
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Poor toast-colored bunny. He's no sooner introduced than he passes away from a mystery illness. But his dear friends who lived with him in a most gorgeously whimsical garden, they remember him. Little bunny, in particular, wonders where her friend has gone. She asks her older, wiser friend, the rose-and-buttercream-colored cat, why every creature who lives must die. Together the friends work it out, allowing little bunny and the cat to navigate grief and comfort one another. The illustrations are incredibly sweet in this picture book that deals with death in a forthright manner, no mention of religion. 

[Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for an opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of this book.]
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Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the ARC of this! 

What a serious, sad, and hopeful little picture book about the nature of death. My 5 year old was pretty horrified that a character pretty much immediately dies and is buried, but he really loved the cat and bunny and their conversations about life and loss. The art was interesting and the bunny was so cute!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for allowing me an early galley of this book. 

It feels serendipitous that I read this book today, with people close to me losing loved ones who are close to them. This book is stunning. 
The illustrations are GORGEOUS. When I say I have never seen illustrations so impressive, I mean it. And I have read a lot of picture books in my time. 
But the simplicity and the clarity of the writing. The open-endedness of the philosophy, theology and beliefs of it all— the entire book is gentle, is soft, is clear but also willing to let you have some room to make your own choices about what things mean. 
I did not expect this much from this book, lemme tell ya. That'll teach me.
Absolutely stunning, and will 110% make sure my nieces own this book when it comes out.
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This was a beautiful & engaging book and I cannot help but recommend that everyone take a look at this title.
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Gently addresses [sudden] death through familiar questions; the accepting of the unknown. The art is beautiful and some creatures are pleasurably offbeat. Will make a gorgeous book but maybe could use some more variation in scenes-- they all started to look the same after a bit.
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A very sweet and beautiful children's book about death and loss. That I felt approached it in a very good way and tackled a lot of the thoughts I recall having when my great grandmother passed when I was younger.
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Can we talk about how absolutely beautiful the illustrations in this book are? This book covers the topic of grief in a very child appropriate way. This story is heartbreaking, but very touching. I could see this book being used to help young children experiencing the first loss of a loved one.
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This book had a lot of opportunities to be great, but it remained to somber throughout the story. It didn't give me a good vibe. I understand the topic is dark, but it wasn't approached in the inviting and friendly way I think it aimed for.
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Three creatures live together in the garden—a cat, an older bunny, and a younger bunny. After the older bunny passes away, the young bunny has some questions for the cat. The cat answers the young bunny's questions, and they explore themes of life and death. 

This book was beautifully illustrated. Although it was sad, I still loved the theme and the lessons to be learned within it.
I think this would be a great story for parents to read to their child about grief—whether the child is experiencing it or to just use it as a teaching moment. 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for the ARC!
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Thanks to the publisher for the eARC of this book. It made me sad (in a good way.) 

I love picture books that deal with emotions, especially grief. Sometimes children need help learning to process complicated emotions. Sometimes adults do, too. My dog passed away early in the morning of March 8th, so my grief is still very fresh. The idea posed in this book, that our loved ones become a part of the world we live in, is such a beautiful and heartwarming sentiment. I want to imagine Sidney as the flowers blooming outside of my house, nestled in next to my other dogs Precious and Jewel. I think this is a very smart and gentle way to explain death and help children learn to process grief. The art is gorgeous as well, so readers will enjoy the visual storytelling as well.

Painfully spot-on timing for my reading, but much appreciated in my own grief.
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This book was quite the heartbreaker. The illustrations were beautiful. I think it'll be a great story of young ones experiencing grief or parents wanting to teach their children about grief.
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This was a very sweet and gorgeous way of expressing grief. The young bunny has questions and the cat doesn’t turn her away, and instead indulges the questions with her own thoughts and further questions. It’s so important for everyone, not just kids, to see that death and grief are a part of life and that there are so many ways to remember the one who was lost. I really like the line that says death doesn’t mean anyone did anything wrong. It’s a natural process for us all. Also this artwork is insanely beautiful to look at and it perfectly fits the theme and vibe of the novel.
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A Garden of Creatures is lovely and beautifully illustrated. It's visually stunning and the art style is amazing. I enjoyed reading it.
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This book was a beautiful, simple, and thoughtful way to reflect on death and mourning. I loved the way the book takes painful feelings and both acknowledges and soothes them. I was very moved by the inclusion of the boy who loved the rabbit, but also glad to see it did not center around a human being, as I feel that seeing the emotions play out through animal characters adds a sense of universality to the book. This book was a lovely, and I will definitely recommend it.
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