Cover image for Grandma's gardens
Grandma's gardens
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
Ages 4-8.

Grades 2-3.
The authors share personal revelations on how gardening with Grandma Dorothy shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.


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From mother-daughter team Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton comes a celebration of family, tradition and discovery, and an ode to mothers, grandmothers and the children they love.

Grandma Dorothy shared her love of gardens with her daughter, Hillary, and her granddaughter, Chelsea. She taught them that gardens are magical places to learn, exciting spaces for discovery, quiet spots to spend time with family and beautiful areas to share stories and celebrate special occasions. But most of all, she taught them that in her gardens, her love grew and blossomed.

In this inspiring and heartwarming mother-daughter story, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton team up to show readers how sharing the things we love with the people we love can create powerful, everlasting bonds between generations.

Praise for Grandma's Gardens :

"A deeply affectionate tribute to the bounty of nature and the love of gardening." --Publishers Weekly

"Filled with mindfulness, the story inspires children to reflect on family and keep memories alive." -- Booklist

Author Notes

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to Dorothy and Hugh Rodham. She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois with her two younger brothers. As a child, she was a Girl Scout and a member of the local Methodist youth group. She attended Wellesley College, beginning in 1965, graduated with honors and enrolled in Yale Law School, which is where she met Bill Clinton. She served on the Board of Editors of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action.

In 1973, she became a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund. In 1974, she joined the Impeachment Inquiry staff of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House Representatives to work on the Watergate impeachment proceedings. She then left Washington to go to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton in 1975. They both taught on the law faculty of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In 1980, their daughter Chelsea was born.

Hillary was the first lady of Arkansas for twelve years and worked on behalf of children and families. Hillary chaired the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, served on the board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital and introduced a pioneering program called Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool youth, which trains parents to work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy. Hillary was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984.

Hillary served as first lady of the United States for eight years (January 20, 1993--January 20, 2001), where she headed the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. On January 3, 2001 she was sworn in as United States Senator from New York, where she served until January 21, 2009. On that date she was made the 67th United States Secretary of State. Her last day as Secretary of State was February 1, 2013.

In 2003, Clinton released an autobiography entitled, Living History. The books sold more than one million copies and was translated into 12 languages. Clinton's audio recording of the book won her a nomination for the Grammy Award for the Best Spoken Word Album. As a politician, Clinton continues to gain consistently high approval ratings from the United States people. In 2014, she released her bestselling nonfiction book about the inside account of her years as Secretary of State, Hard Choices. In 2017 her book, What Happened, which recounted the 2016 presidential election, made several Best Seller Lists.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2--In this nostalgic paean to gardens and grandmothers, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share their memories of Hillary's mother, Grandma Dorothy. In alternating paragraphs (Chelsea's in blue type, Hillary's in green), they talk about the ways gardens can be places of learning, discovery, and story sharing. Gardens can provide homes for animals and food for people. Readers watch Chelsea grow from a curious toddler inspecting a ladybug to a young adult sharing souvenir books from gardens she had visited. Except for her hair color, Hillary changes little from young mother to grandmother herself. The illustrations also have a static quality. Pretty, pleasant, and tidy, the gardens are manicured and controlled--no dirt, no weeds, no flowerpot or blossom out of place. VERDICT Filtered through golden memories, these recollections will probably appeal more to adults than children. The book may prove a popular gift for grandmothers, especially those with gardens.--Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato

Publisher's Weekly Review

The mother-daughter team shapes a deeply affectionate tribute to the bounty of nature and the love of gardening they both shared with the late Dorothy Rodham, Hillary's mother and Chelsea's grandmother, here mentioned by her first name. On each spread, the authors share a singular memory of gardening with Grandma Dorothy at various points in their lives: "I remember being so proud that Grandma asked me to help her care for the azaleas," recalls a young Chelsea; Hillary, reminiscing about her mother gardening into her 90s, notes, "Watching my mom enjoying our garden and tending to it gave me as much joy as it gave her." Less effectual than these personal recollections are accompanying platitudes ranging from obvious ("Gardens give us food") to extraneous ("Gardens are places to share stories"). Lemniscates (Birds) gracefully marks the passage of time in tranquil mixed-media pictures showcasing the changing seasons and the richly hued flora, vegetables, and fruit they bring, the maturing appearance of each character, and, ultimately, the addition of Chelsea's children to the cheerful gardening brigade. Ages 4--8. (Mar.)

Kirkus Review

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate's mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy's wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer's translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In a tale that spans three generations, Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, honor Grandma Dorothy, the matriarch of their family and a master gardener who left an indelible impression on their hearts. Grandma Dorothy's love of gardening inspired a tradition of togetherness, learning, and appreciation. Hillary and Chelsea contemplate their individual childhoods, making insightful reflections on every page as they note Grandma Dorothy's adventures and the impact she continues to have. In time, family traditions bloom from Grandma Dorothy's journeys. The narration shifts between Hillary and Chelsea, noticeable not only through the writing but in changes to the text's color as well. Illustrations depict astonishing landscapes in color palettes that align with the story's rhythm; through a minimalist approach, a stunning level of intricacy is achieved. Words of wisdom swirl across the pages, helping readers find clarity. Filled with mindfulness, the story inspires children to reflect on family and keep memories alive.