Amelia Ellicott’s Garden by Liliana Stafford and Stephen Michael King

Imagine a garden once loved and tended to but now falling into a state of disarray.

Imagine a neighbourhood which has changed from large houses to apartments.

Imagine a neighbourhood change from a mono culture to a multicultured place.

How would you feel?


Amelia Ellicott’s garden covers many different issues that come up in our society.

Multiculturalism, racism, loneliness, friendship, buying local and sense of community.

Amelia Ellicott has lived in the same street all her life but now she is getting old and cannot care for the garden she once loved. She detests the high rises that surround her house and the people within – who she thinks do not hold values similiar to her.

She wishes to show her baby chicks to others but has no one. Meanwhile in the high rise, people look down longingly at the vegetable patches and baby chicks.

But after a storm things change within this little community and within the heart of Amelia. She allows the people from the apartment to help her bring her garden back to it’s former glory – but with a lot more warmth.

Amelia Ellicott’s Garden is a heart-warming read for anyone and perhaps it will inspire you to say hello to your neighbour? Share some tomatoes with the person next door or maybe join a community garden?

I love Stephen Michael King’s illustrations in all of the book’s he has illustrated and this one is no exception.

So what can you do?

PHILOSOPHY

  • What is community? This is a great philosophical discussion to be had with children as we all perceive community to be different. Look into different types of community, the roles we play – and the importance of each role. Do we all need to play an equal role to be a member of a community?

LITERACY

  • Investigate characters: How do all the different characters feel throughout the story? Compare the different background stories they all have and how this contributes to how they feel towards their community. Could this story be written from another characters perspective? How might they be feeling towards Amelia?

SUSTAINABILITY

  • Check out your local community garden
  • Investigate crop swap organisations
  • Buy some chickens for christmas – they are the best pet – cuddly and give an egg a day (they do poo a bit but that is great for the garden!)

SOMETHING EXTRA….

  • Have a BBQ with your neighbours! We are heading to one this weekend and I can’t wait to have a longer than 10 minute chat with them all!
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