Welcome! Doris Kutschbach,
The smoothest trip ever! I'm delighted, of course, to talk about The Wild Garden, Cynthia's latest picture book with Prestel Junior.
The delight is all mine! So, when you received Cynthia's submission for THE WILD GARDEN , why did you want to acquire it?
I had worked with Cynthia on her first book Pie for Breakfast, which has been published by Prestel Junior in both English and German. For me, it was such a pleasure to work with Cynthia, and I really loved the result of our collaboration, so I knew that I wanted to work with her again. I guess that the idea to make a book about gardening and nature came from me! I believe that a mindful, respectful handling of nature is extremely important for the future of our planet and our children. Saving our planet is such a strong message of our time. Cynthia was excited about the idea. She came up with a range of proposals based around that topic and we developed the book from there.
What do you love about Cynthia's illustrations found in THE WILD GARDEN?
Above everything else I love her fine sense of color and color combinations. How she uses tones, shades, accents and contrasts. Her images are not just colorful. There is a beautiful underlying harmony that ties the illustrations throughout the book together. I also love the attention to detail in her pictures. Each detail tells a little story and children can discover so much. Cynthia seems to understand really well how children view the world.
Jilly and her grandfather know their beloved wilderness very well. The story really shows the joy they feel when they're there. It's very nice that they find a clever way to share this joy and love of nature with the other townspeople and bring about a positive change in the way other people think. Their protest is peaceful, friendly and full of empathy--important things in our aggressive times!
So true! Do you have your own wild open space you enjoy? If so, describe what you love about it and what kinds of things you like to 'gather' there.
I am fortunate enough to have my own garden! It has old fruit trees and it is a bit overgrown, which means many animals feel comfortable there: insects, hedgehogs, squirrels, toads, newts and birds. My family and I enjoy the garden very much and look forward to fresh organic apples, plums, pears, berries, tomatoes and vegetables. The garden was a great gift, especially during the lockdown. Nature can really ground us and give us a sense of calm in stressful times.
I agree! Why do you hope children everywhere will read this book?
I hope that the book will encourage children all over the world to have fun discovering nature, learn mindfulness and understand the importance of protecting our planet. Every child, no matter how small, can make a difference. The book can also help children learn about peaceful communication--which can be applied in so many aspects of life!
I couldn't agree more, Doris. WOW! I have really enjoyed your visit. Thanks so much for allowing me to share in launching THE WILD GARDEN. Or should I say Danke! May it have many more printings!