Paul Collins and Jo Thompson
Clara lives alone in the most splendid pumpkin growing glasshouse you would ever see. She is a very talented and proud gardener, who grows the best pumpkins in town. Everybody loves Clara’s pumpkins! However Clara’s solitary life soon manifests into a state of paranoia, which sees Clara become overly protective of her perfect world (or rather her perception of her perfect world). Her overprotection could easily become the undoing of her most cherished things, her glasshouse and her pumpkins.
The Glasshouse is a beautifully illustrated book by Jo Thompson. Clara herself a freckle-faced red head who blends perfectly into a pumpkin patch, has expressive eyes rarely seen in picture books.
Paul Collins has created a story which despite the very deep meaning it carries with it, it is easy and enjoyable to read. Older readers will be able to gain much insight from The Glasshouse, and it would be a great book to help assist children in understanding these types of feelings, helping them to learn that simply ‘people need people, and one can not thrive if they cut themselves off from the rest of the world’.
Having said that though, The Glasshouse is not too heavy for those 5 and under (recommended for children 7+). The pictures are delightful, the words are simple and not overdone. The ending is sweet also as Clara learns a valuable lesson.
Things only truly have value if they are shared with others.
Ford Street Publishing
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