My Baba's Garden

My Baba's Garden

By Author / Illustrator

Jordan Scott, Sydney Smith


Family & Home

Age range(s)



Walker Books




Paperback / softback




The special relationship between a child and his grandmother is depicted in this sumptuous book by an award-winning team.

Inspired by memories of his childhood, Jordan Scott's My Baba's Garden explores the sights, sounds and smells experienced by a child spending time with their beloved grandmother (Baba). He visits her every day and finds her hidden in the steam of boiling potatoes, a hand holding a beetroot, a leg opening a cupboard, an elbow closing the fridge, humming like a night full of bugs when she cooks.

This is a stunning ode to the special relationship between grandmother and grandchild, needing few words, but rooted deeply in ritual, touch and feeling.



This book has more layers than an onion. On the face of it, My Baba's Garden is a simple story about a little boy spending the early mornings with his Grandma at her house, having breakfast and then going to school. They collect stranded worms on the way for her to relocate in her lush garden that is ripe with different types of fruit and vegetables.

The untold story of why his grandma will not tolerate food being dropped and not eaten and why she squirrels away preserves around the house is hinted at; 'My mum says my Baba didn't have much food for a very, very long time'. One can only imagine the deprivations suffered by the little girl in her native Poland, during the war.

The story is illustrated with dark, dreamy, blurred paintings that draw the reader in but are somehow slightly unsettling at the same time. It's a book that can be read to Key Stage One, with discussion about growing your own food and what a sense of contentment this can bring. However, older children will be able to pull the layers of the narrative and pictures apart to find the deeper meanings. A very thought-provoking book, indeed.

40 Pages / Reviewed by Wendy Kelly, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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