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The Garden at the End of the World (Cassy Polimeni, illus by Briony Stewart, UQP)

After Isla discovers a unique seed pod, readers accompany her and her mother to the Global Seed Vault in Norway. The Garden at the End of the World is the first picture book by former travel writer Cassy Polimeni, and is illustrated by the award-winning Briony Stewart. Exploring important environmental themes, the book is well suited for classroom discussion regarding conservation, climate change, the Arctic and what we can do to protect our earth; however it could also spark discussions about travel, adventure and family. Suitable for four- to nine-year-olds, The Garden at the End of the World features lyrical wording, ‘This is our long polar night. If you’re lucky, you might see the northern lights’ as well as the occasional rhyme, appealing to younger readers. Although most of the story takes place in an icy setting, the book has a warm, safe and homely feeling about it, with the illustrations complementing the captivating text by bringing out the animals and other quirky aspects of the landscapes depicted. The short fact page about the Global Seed Vault at the end of the story validates its existence, detailing a real-life instance where this gene bank has proven useful.

Books+Publishing reviewer: Baran Rostamian is an emerging writer living in Boorloo and a 2023 recipient of the Green Leaves / Red River poetry manuscript publishing project in partnership with Red River Press. Books+Publishing is Australia’s number-one source of pre-publication book reviews.


Category: Junior Reviews