France: “Linnea in Monet’s Garden”

🇫🇷 I picked this book up because we were heading to France and I wanted to learn a little more about the culture before we got there.

Linnea is a character created by Swedish author, Christina Björk.

I recognized the book when I picked it up from the public library. Sometimes, I recognize books because they have been in one of the libraries that I have managed. But this time I recognized Linnea in Monet’s Garden because it was published in 1985, the peak of my elementary school days. I had no doubt read it as 12 year old many years ago.

So I read it again.

If you have ever re-read a book from your past (childhood, high school, college, a specific time in your life) you know that you may often glean something new or unexpected the second or third or fourth time through. With maturity, oftentimes you understand more, appreciate more, linger in the words or the themes just a little bit more. This was true for me while reading about Linnea.

In it’s most basic form, it is the story of a girl and her adventures with her neighbor, Mr. Bloom. To a child it may be nothing more than a story about the places that they visit. But for me, it was a delightful non-fiction account of the beginnings of Impressionism and the painter that created the genre.

Appropriate for ages 8 and up (simply because of the length and complexity of the material). This is a great book to get conversations started about art, artists, gardens and France.

Take a visit to Monet’s Garden.  Available at the Kitsap Regional Library.

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