Linnea in Monet’s Garden is Back

After three years out of print, Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson is back! It makes me happy when wonderful old books get new life, and Linnea in Monet’s Garden is one of my favorites.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden was one of a handful of picture books I owned before I had kids. It was not a book I acquired merely by happenstance, rummaging through someone’s discard pile. To the contrary, one day when I was in college, I headed down to my local independent bookstore and asked if the owners could special order Linnea in Monet’s Garden for me.

Why Linnea in Monet’s Garden? I had fond memories of plenty of other books from my childhood: The Very Young Dancer, the Frog and Toad books, Mike Thaler’s classic The Moose is Loose… Linnea in Monet’s Garden stuck with me, I believe, because it describes a young girl’s travels to Paris in such detail that I could imagine hopping on an airplane and experiencing Paris myself. There is a good chance that I will never make it to Paris. However, thanks to Christina Björk and Lena Anderson and their curious and charming tourguide Linnea, I have had the pleasure of visiting many times over in the pages of this book.

When Linnea and her friend Mr. Bloom visit Paris, they do not visit the Eiffle Tower or the Louvre. Oh no! Their adventure is much, much better. Linnea and Mr. Bloom stay in “the loveliest hotel in the whole city” with a view of Notre-Dame Cathedral, walls made of uneven stones, and ancient beams in the ceiling. They enjoy a picnic by the River Ru complete with baguette, pate and nectarines. They awake early on the final morning of their trip to watch the sunrise over the Seine.

Illustrator Lena Anderson incorporated old photographs of Monet, recent photographs of Giverny, images of Monet’s paintings, and pressed leaves and other found objects into her paintings. The scrapbook-like feel of the illustrations contribute to the sense that Giverny and Paris are real places that readers could visit.

I have not yet mentioned the fact that Linnea in Monet’s Garden is the best introduction to impressionism that I have ever read! And, it is. It absolutely is. Björk uses the characters of Linnea and Mr. Bloom to discuss art in a way that will fascinate children. When Linnea and Mr. Bloom visit museums to see Monet’s paintings, Linnea reacts with natural curiosity: “I noticed that the lilies were nothing but blobs and blotches of paint. But when I stepped away again, they turned into real water lilies floating in a pond–magic! ‘How could he know how to paint like that?’ I asked Mr. Bloom.” The knowledgable Mr. Bloom then shares information about how Monet painted and what art critics initially thought of his work. He shares stories about each of the paintings they see.

While Linnea in Monet’s Garden offers readers a fantastic introduction to impressionism, this does not explain why the story endures 25 years after it was first published in English. Linnea in Monet’s Garden endures, I think, because Linnea is an unforgettable and completely charming character and because this story transports readers in a way that no other picture book that I can think of does.

Recommended For: Linnea in Monet’s Garden will appeal to outdoorsy, artistic and adventurous kids ages 6+. It can also be used by art teachers to teach kids about impressionism and Monet.

One lucky reader will win a copy of Linnea in Monet’s Garden!

For an opportunity to win, leave a comment below by Wednesday, October 24th, 11:59 pm EST. One entry per person. This contest is open to readers in the United States and Canada. This post is one in a series of posts celebrating Linnea in Monet’s Garden‘s 25th Anniversary. (See Celebrate Linnea’s Birthday!) If you leave a comment below, you will also have the opportunity to win a grand prize that will be announced on October 25th.

Good luck!

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This entry was posted in Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+, New! Nonfiction, nonfiction books and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Linnea in Monet’s Garden is Back

  1. Christine says:

    I’d love this book!

  2. Jenna says:

    I’m always so excited to show my three daughters new books and winning one would be SO fun!

  3. redcat77 says:

    My daughter’s friend Isabel is in Paris right now and we would love to give her this book as a special gift upon her return!!!

  4. susan says:

    I must say that I’m going to need to add this to our home library. I’m excited to find such an interesting read and I can’t wait for my little one to enjoy it too! I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before.

  5. Jany PG says:

    Thank you for the amazing giveaway as well,
    I love to give a good book as a gift
    I guess my marvelous niece will love this book, she moved to US recently with her parents and her brother

  6. Janelle says:

    Perfect for outdoorsy, artistic and adventurous kids? Then it sounds like it would be perfect for my daughter. If we don’t win it, I’ll be sure to search out a copy! Thanks for the review.

  7. Please enter me for the book too

  8. Cynthia says:

    Please enter me in the giveaway!


  9. This book looks so wonderful! It sounds like such a great way to introduce kids to aesthetic appreciation! Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  10. Sandra says:

    Oohh! I’ve had my eye on this book for a while!!! How wonderful to get a chance to win it.

  11. Lora Poucher says:

    I have a Linnea and love to find things connected to her name, especially a book!

  12. J M Naszady says:

    There is something so familiar about this book. I am a huge fan of Monet and picture books. Thanks for sharing! I hope to read this soon.

  13. allison says:

    Sounds amazing!

  14. Lucia says:

    This book is amazing, luckily I’ve already have one at home because I’m from Argentina.:-)
    My daughter Olivia is working on an art project and she took Linnea in Monet ‘s garden to school, her teacher is delighted and she is going to try to get one!

  15. Janina says:

    I’d love to win a copy of Linnea in Monet’s Garden. Our library had two copies and they’ve both gone missing!

  16. PragmaticMom says:

    Oh, I’d love to win. I’ve heard so much about this book over the years that I’m surprised I don’t own it already!

  17. Amy says:

    I feel hesitant to respond to your comments on this post, since this is a contest and all. But, hello! Thank you for visiting!

  18. Anna says:

    I’ve heard many good things about this book, but never read it myself.

  19. Mindy says:

    I read your blog all of the time… and link to it from my pinterest page all of the time. What a great resource for parents and educators. I’ve never heard of this book, but I will definitely add it to my collection even if I don’t win it.

  20. Susan says:

    Thank you for having this contest. I remember this book from when I worked in a museum store. It’s a delightful book and I’m so happy to see it’s back in print.

  21. linabina says:

    Oh, I’m so happy this is back in print. It left such an impression (shameless pun, I know) in me as a little girl! I am obsessed with Monet’s flowers. They line the walls of my classroom and my kids are naturally drawn to the wonderful colors and inherent ambiguity of Impressionism. It tickles me to see them inch closer to the posters and then step backwards. You can tell it’s a curious thing to them because the gardens are evident, they’re just not sure how smudges of paint up close can be flowers from far away. UGH! Thank you for sharing the good news! It’s time to get a new copy for my library!

  22. allison says:

    This has been on our “to purchase” list for quite a while… winning a copy would be even better!!

  23. Lea says:

    My son has just started to paint and is suddenly captivated by colors. Based on his new interest I was thinking we needed to go beyond color books for story time by exploring art centered stories. Thank you for the timely suggestion!

  24. Liz says:

    Speaking of old books, I have one much loved book from my childhood which my mother recently gave to me, “Seven little rabbits walking down the road”, I just looked it up and I’m amazed to see not only is it still in print but look exactly the same! My own copy is now being enjoyed by own children and hopefully it will survive them for another generation!

    • Amy says:

      That’s great that your favorite book is still in print! The vast majority of children’s books, including many good ones, are not in print for long.

  25. Amy says:

    What a lovely book! I’ve never read it before, but it sounds perfect for my oldest daughter who dreams of visiting Paris one day.

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