Bedtimes Stories, children's books, picture books, reading, reviews, Young Readers

Three books by Sarah Stewart

I learned from the last read-a-thon that a great way to pass time and feel like you’re accomplishing something is to read children’s books. They help to settle your mind between the readings of bigger, more intense stories. Within a small amount of time children’s books can give you a glimpse of someone’s life and story without weighing you down.

stewart-moneyThe Money Tree (1991)
Illustrations by David Small

The Money Tree tells the story of Miss McGillicuddy and the unusual tree that suddenly starts to grow into her backyard one January. As the seasons change the tree grows larger and larger. When Miss McGillicuddy realize that the tree’s strange leaves is paper money, she starts giving them away. Soon crowds of people are coming to pluck the money off the tree. Will it ever end?

The was a great book to read. Simple and perceptive, The Money Tree shows kids and adults what’s really important in life.

stewart-libraryThe Library (1995)
Illustrations by David Small

I found out about The Library from my kids. Told in rhyme, The Library is the story of  Mary Elizabeth Brown’s life from a child to an elderly woman. Brown loves books and would rather read than do anything else. Does that sound like anyone you know? One of my favorite passages from the book,

Books were piled on top of chairs

And spread across the floor.

Her shelves began to fall apart,

As she read more and more.

I wish I could show you the beautiful illustrations by David Small, Stewart’s husband. They compliment the story perfectly. My favorite illustrations of the story are a two-page spread that has the illusion that Mary Elizabeth Brown has so many books they’re about to fall off the page.


The Gardener (2007)
Caldecott Honor Medal

Out of all three of the books I’ve read by Stewart, The Gardener is my favorite.

Lydia Grace Finch is a little girl living during the Depression who loves to garden. After her father loses his job and money stop coming in, Lydia Grace is sent to the city to live with her Uncle Jim.

Jim owns a bakery and never smiles. He allows Lydia Grace to grow flowers and vegetables around the bakery. A transformation takes place and no one is the same in the year.

Told in letters to uncle Jim and her family back at home, readers get to see Lydia Grace’s life and the resilience of a little girl to make the things she touch beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Three books by Sarah Stewart”

  1. I read all three of these books to my students every year. Just love them! Especially The Library of course as it is based upon the true story of an extreme bibliophile capable of reading through any activity. All so charming!

  2. I love The Library and re-read it every year. For some reason, I never thought to look for more books by Stewart. I’ll be breaking my own book ban, but I must have The Garderner. It looks great!

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