Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and her Island Garden

Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and her Island Garden
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
May 17, 2022
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From an all-star team comes a lyrical picture-book biography about a writer and master gardener who created beauty in a harsh island habitat that was visited by literary and artistic luminaries of her time.

Celia Thaxter grew up on a desolate island off the coast of Maine, where her father worked as lighthouse keeper. Amid the white and gray of the sea, the rocks, and even the birds, young Celia found color where she could: green mosses and purple starfish and pink morning glories by the shore. And she planted her first garden, tucking bright marigolds between rocky ledges. When she was twelve, Celia’s family moved to nearby Appledore Island, where her father built a large hotel, and Celia planted a bigger, ever-growing garden with nearly sixty types of flowers, from asters to wisteria.

Guests flocked to the hotel from around the world, among them such writers as Longfellow, Whittier, and Hawthorne. Celia had been writing poems about the island, her garden, and the sea, and they would be printed in magazines and books, making her a foremother of writing about nature. Now, for the first time, Celia Planted a Garden showcases her life and work, in a poetic, vividly imagined picture book from a team of two authors and an illustrator, each recipients of numerous awards. More about Celia Thaxter, including a rich time line and bibliography, awaits readers in the back matter.

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Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden is a beautifully illustrated work of art.

I had never heard her story before, and was so glad to read this with my children. I do feel like the writing style is a bit older than what was advertised, as my kindergartener lost interest quickly with all the words.

He did, however, love all of the illustrations. They are beautiful and each told a story themselves, and brought to life Celia's garden in our minds.

I adored all of Celia's poetry added in on almost every page, and the short biography/timeline at the end. Her life was lonely and sad at times, but she found a way to bring color to it.

Celia Planted a Garden is a wonderful, inspirational, and fun children's biography.
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