The Fragrant Garden

The Fragrant Garden

By Carol-Ann Hoyte

A review of The Fragrant Garden by Day's Lee

Published on March 1, 2006

The Fragrant Garden
Day's Lee

Napoleon Publishing
$11.95
1-894917-26-X

Day’s Lee tells stories to teach her nieces and nephews about family history. The Montreal author drew on her memories of working in her parents’ restaurant for The Fragrant Garden (Napoleon Publishing).

On Sunday evenings, nine-year-old Jade works at her family’s restaurant. Yearning to perform more exciting tasks, she asks her father to teach her how to work the cash register. He refuses, believing her to be too young to handle such a great responsibility. One evening a small fire breaks out in the kitchen. Jade is there with the cooks, and she extinguishes the flaming wok with an pot lid. When her father learns of her quick thinking and responsible effort, he rewards her with ice cream and a promise to let her learn how to operate the cash register.

Lee’s feel-good story conveys the positive and encourage message that children, no matter how young, are capable of significant feats. The varied forms (spot art, landscape, vertical, and horizontal) of Josée Bellemare’s artwork lend the book visual appeal. mRb

Carol-Ann Hoyte is the Quebec English-language regional coordinator for TD Canadian Children's Book Week and organizer of monthly mixers for Montreal anglophone children's book authors and illustrators.

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