I gave Tales from the Garden 4* out of 5*
I loved Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin and read this book of delightful short stories to both my five-year-old granddaughter and to my ninety-four year old mother. It’s a magical blending of fairy tales and human emotions, in circumstances familiar to everyone. And there are some wonderful illustrations alongside the text that add to the enjoyment.
This is the book blurb:
Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.
Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.
(S0, with granddaughter at almost six years old and Mum being ninety four – and me somewhere in between – I won’t say exactly where! – we fitted in nicely as readers.)
We first meet the statues of the lions; carved stone sentinels of the garden, watching generations of children as they grow and depart, ‘through the black gate that leads to the outside world’, leaving the lions to safeguard the land of Magia, the fairy kingdom under the spread of the magnificent magnolia tree; a land that gives sanctuary to many. There is a poignant moment when we learn of the sad departure, after five decades, of the gardener who leaves them to ‘protect the garden on his behalf.’ And this is where the author excels; she blends the ‘fairy tale’ characters and the human attributes throughout; there is a reality of life, of love, of values. Of the respect we should all have for each other…
And the many characters are entrancing: statues of both real animals, dogs and rabbits and of mythical creature such as the wonderful Fluffy the Dragon and his unfortunate habit of starting small fires (you can just picture it!), a mischievous band of Stone Dwarves, a wicked witch up to no good as she feeds the swans and ducks. I could go on but won’t; I’ll just urge you to check out Tales from the Garden for yourself.
The book concludes with the story of the author’s mother’s; The Duchess, story. Poignant and beautifully told, it’s the memories and background history of the family’s homes and gardens which provided the inspiration for this well written and entertaining collection. I have no hesitation in recommending Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin.
To buy the book: