Linnea in Monet’s Garden {Review and Giveaway}

by Dawn

I remember the day my young daughter pulled a book off the packed shelf in her room and was immediately drawn in by the verdant cover image. As she looked through it for a few minutes, she exclaimed, “Wait! That looks like the picture you have!” My four year old had correctly associated the pictures she saw in this picture book with a poster of three Monet bridge paintings that I have in a frame in our hallway. It was then that I began to fully appreciate the power of Linnea in Monet’s Garden, by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson.

Now, in honor of the book’s 25th anniversary, Linnea in Monet’s Garden is being re-released in the U.S., in a bit of a larger picture book format, but with the same lovely story, adorable illustrations, and wealth of photographs and information about Claude Monet’s life and work. In the story, Linnea is a young girl who loves flowers, and she shares this interest with her upstairs neighbor, Mr. Bloom. It’s at Mr. Bloom’s that Linnea is first introduced to the work of Claude Monet, and she enjoys looking at the book about him on her visits to Mr. Bloom, first because of the beautiful paintings of flowers. As she reads more of the book, she begins to learn about Monet’s life, his wife Alice, their collective eight children, and the big pink house where they all lived together. Linnea becomes fascinated with the Japanese bridge over the lily pond in Monet’s backyard, and she mentions to Mr. Bloom that she likes to pretend she’s standing upon that very bridge when she plays.

Not long after Mr. Bloom tells Linnea that Monet’s pink house, Japanese bridge, and lily pond have been turned into a museum that people can visit, Linnea finds herself on the trip of a lifetime to Paris! She and Mr. Bloom travel together, seeing amazing sights like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and The Marmottan museum, before heading out to Giverny to visit Monet’s pink house in person. There, they have the spectacular experience of admiring the water lillies and wisteria from the Japanese bridge themselves.

After we looked at both the garden and the house, the best part was still to come: the lily pond. We crossed the garden and went through a tunnel under the main road.

“Oh, look, Mr. Bloom!” I cried. “There’s the Japanese bridge!”

And when at last we were standing on the bridge, it was so thrilling that there were tears in my eyes. (And in Mr. Bloom’s. I’m sure I saw a few.)

“What was it I said?” said Mr. Bloom. “It was possible!”

During their travels, Linnea learns so much more about Claude Monet’s life and Impressionism, and as the narrator of the book, she joyfully shares her knowledge with a child’s enthusiasm and excitement. Her trip and experiences are presented so realistically that it’s sometimes hard to remember that Linnea is a fictional character!

The presentation of this picture book is somewhat nontraditional, with illustrations, text, photographs, and images of Monet’s works sharing space on the pages. The result is an intimate, scrapbook-like reading experience. My daughter, now six years old, still greatly enjoys taking this book out to peruse, rather than read straight-through, and I understand the appeal, too. I can get lost looking at Monet’s paintings, as well! Happy 25th anniversary to Linnea in Monet’s Garden, a delightful book about a budding art-enthusiast that can surely get young readers interested in Monet’s art, too.

We’re happy to offer one copy of this book to a lucky reader! Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below to enter. (U.S. and Canada residents only, please.)

In honor of Linnea in Monet’s Garden‘s 25th Anniversary, Sourcebooks is offering its own Birthday Giveaway, too. If you leave a comment below, you will also have the opportunity to win a grand prize that will be announced on October 25th on Sourcebooks’ Celebrate Linnea’s Birthday! site.

Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of Bilingual is Better is Leah.


Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mozi Esmes Mom October 8, 2012 at 2:40 am

I love Edgar Degas – perfect for my little ballerina!


2 dannyscotland October 8, 2012 at 10:09 am

To be honest, I had not even thought about educating my daughter about particular artists. She is three, and I simply tried to let her develop her own artistic talents, but after reading this post, I realize I have been missing a whole aspect of this. I would love to have a copy of this so I can begin to share the works of other artists with my daughter. I can’t believe I haven’t been doing that all along. Thank you so much for sharing this.


3 HappyMomC October 8, 2012 at 10:42 am

yes, one of her uncle who is a painter.


4 Jenny October 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

We have not really started talking about particular artists, but we do talk about the art work we see.


5 Kathy Stevenson October 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Monet happens to be my favorite!


6 Melissa Belle October 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Yes and we love Monet!


7 Clair October 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I have not seen this book…but it looks like a great book to read to my students, nieces, and nephews.


8 Mona October 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I am a former Art Teacher. I share as much as I can with my Grand Daughter about how important art is to the world. And I have shared with her all about Monet. Although VanGoah is my favorite painter. I would love to win this book for her and all my grand children. (One is a baby, and we have one on the way)


9 mrsshukra October 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Yes, Hieronymus Bosch is our favorite!


10 DEBIJOT October 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

yes, we study artists and Degas is my favorite.


11 Patricia Wojnar Crowley October 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Monet is my favorite!


12 Jessica T October 9, 2012 at 12:08 am

I don’t, but my daughter’s teacher has an amazing arts program! I’m learning too!


13 Beth C October 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

No, I haven’t yet but plan to.


14 Bud L October 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

We do, My son has been to a few art museum so far. My husband totally loves Monet and we have seen a few of his paints which are unbelievable!

Bud Lisa – RC form name


15 Liz October 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I love Mary Cassatt and her images of moms and babies.


16 Marjorie October 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I have grandchildren in Edmonton and I have educated my daughter to make sure the children are big readers and they are.


17 riTa October 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I had that book but we had a house fire.


18 nannypanpan October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

i have not yet, but i like grandma moses


19 Heather E. Carrillo October 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for this review. I hadn’t thought about this book in a long time, but I might as well enter. :-)
heatherliz dot carrillo at gmail dot com


20 Missy October 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

No, I haven’t thought about that.


21 Linda Kish October 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Yes, and, Claude Monet happens to be my favorite.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


22 Alison S. October 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

My oldest son is 3 and I’m very excited to start teaching him art.


23 ellie October 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I educate my children about art. Chagall is my favorite artist.


24 pearl October 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Yes, I do. It is important. Van Gogh is my favorite.


25 Staci A October 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

We look at art a lot, but haven’t really started talking about the artists yet.


26 phxbne October 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

yes – I love Monet and Degas


27 Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) October 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I didn’t educate my kids as much as I wish I had, being a single mom and working, when spending time with my grandchildren I try to do better.


28 Wendy M October 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

I have done some educating my children about artists. My absolute favorite is Monet!


29 susan October 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I do try although I need more help to find books like these that help to share with them. I do enjoy Money and Van Gogh.


30 cassandra October 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

thank you for this opportunity


31 Leslie Rigsby October 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

My kids seem to like the impressionists, and I’m not a fan of modern art so we usually skip those.


32 Christine October 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I would love to have a copy of this so I can begin to share the works of other artists with my kids.
Thanks for the chance!


33 gail October 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm

yes, i do. monet


34 Heather Poindexter October 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Well I do, but my favorite is salvador dali and thats out of my little ones range.


35 Angela E. October 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Such lovely art work, always been a big fan of Monet.


36 S October 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Thank you for the contest. :)


37 Heidi Daily October 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

I do try to educate my daughter about artists, because I never was a child and after taking an art history class in college I found a love of art. Monet is actually my favorite artist! I have a print of one of his Palazzo Da Mula paintings in my bedroom


38 Diana Hatch October 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

I would love for my granddaughters to learn about artists. I don’t necessarily have a favorite


39 Claire October 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I love Mary Cassatt


40 Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard October 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

we talk about the art in the picture books – no favorite


41 samantha w October 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm

we talk about pictures in their books


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