The Concrete Garden
Bob Graham
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781529512649
Awards Year: 2024
Category: Book of the Year: Early Childhood


A timely, inspiring and uplifting story about hope and the power of creative expression, from one of the world's most treasured bookmakers.

After a cold, dark winter, doors opened. Children spilled out like sweets from a box. Amanda was last one out of the tower block. She brought some chalk with her. On every inch of the concrete outside, the children drew pictures of everything they could think of, from flowers and snails, to spaceships and queens. Before long, a beautiful and exotic garden spread out across the concrete.

From master storyteller Bob Graham comes a charming, and gently post-pandemic story about finding optimism after a dark spell, and the nurturing power of community friendships in an urban setting. The Concrete Garden will resonate with anyone who has been apart from their loved ones, and will encourage us all to find the brightness and colour within ourselves.

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The CBCA judges say...

An exuberant group of children spill out from the confines of a grey apartment block, finding joy in a simple box of chalk. The power of creativity and strength in community shine. Every aspect of the book is utilised, the narrative is extending to all elements of the peritext. Each character is named, creating a personal and connected feel for the reader. Language is simple and succinct, yet at times rich in imagery. Gentle, sensitive illustrations in watercolour, pencil and pastel capture moments of connection, artistry and occasional upsets with warmth and humour. A diverse range of characters are represented, living and playing together in a microcosm - a hopeful and much-needed view of how the world should be.


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A Reading Time reviewer says...

The Concrete Garden tells a heartwarming and hopeful story about community, creativity and finding joy after a difficult time. It is written and illustrated by Bob Graham who is a doyen of Australian children’s literature, having won multiple awards over many years...


Teaching Notes for this book...

Lamont Books have teaching notes available for this book on their website.


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