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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
8

on 12 May 2003
I last looked at Sarah Garland's books when my now 12 y.o son was a toddler - now my 18 month old is getting into having stories. What a joy it was to disinter the well thumbed, slightly chewed pile of Sarah Garland books. The family she bases her simple stories around are immediately identifiably real: mother is frazzled; the elder child is bored; the youngest a whirlwind of mischief; and the pets always doing the wrong thing in the wrong place. In a few simple drawings with very sparse text you are right there at the garden centre, struggling to bring the over-large tree home in the battered pram. Very English, very urban and you can be sure that every title ends up with all the children asleep and the mother looking like she could use a gin and tonic.
Great stuff! This one is my youngest's favourite. My elder son liked 'coming to tea' best - but every home should have all of them!
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on 8 February 2012
As with the other titles in Sarah Garland's 'Coming and Going' series for toddlers, 'Doing the Garden' depicts a fairly ordinary scene from family life. Spring has come, and Mum has decided that it's time to plant some flowers in the garden, so she and the children head off to the garden shop. Of course, they buy too much and have to struggle home with everything perched in an ancient pram. When they get home, Mum and the children plant things, and then the pets dig them up again! Then it's time for a drink, a snack, and a well-deserved rest.

As a parent, the thing I love most about Sarah Garland's books are the illustrations - we see a mother who isn't always neatly dressed, who often looks tired and needs frequent cups of tea, but she clearly loves her children and they are shown here working together to get things done. The text in the books is fairly undemanding - it really just describes a sequence of events - but the illustrations give plenty to discuss, and my daughter loves describing what's going on in each picture. Buyers may like to note that Dad does not make an appearance in this book, so the tale may not suit single fathers.

If you're looking for a realistic portrayal of a slice of family life to share with your toddler, then this tale comes highly recommended.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 7 August 2010
Sarah Garland excels in taking ordinary situations and making them seem special. In her books the weather is not always wonderful, mum sometimes looks a little harassed, but this is real life. Children identify with these books and, if the pictures look a little dated, it doesn't really matter. I think they are wonderful.
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on 24 December 2013
Love the story & the illustrations, but can only buy them as board books in the US. That format does not do them justice, to say nothing of the fact that board books are for babies. So worth the shipping fee!
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on 26 March 2014
We are based in a community nature park and the children have been learning how to grow lots of different things
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on 26 April 2008
really lovely pictures and simple story that is easy to relate to and plenty to keep your toddler interested!
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on 17 June 2016
Brilliantly written and fantastically illustrated - we all love these books they are future classics
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on 11 January 2015
Nice book! Still in good condition.
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