The Concrete Garden

Judges Comments

An exuberant group of children spill out from the confines of a grey apartment block, finding joy in a simple box of chalk. The power of creativity and strength in community shine. Every aspect of the book is utilised, the narrative is extending to all elements of the peritext. Each character is named, creating a personal and connected feel for the reader. Language is simple and succinct, yet at times rich in imagery. Gentle, sensitive illustrations in watercolour, pencil and pastel capture moments of connection, artistry and occasional upsets with warmth and humour. A diverse range of characters are represented, living and playing together in a microcosm – a hopeful and much-needed view of how the world should be.

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