Florette is a blooming marvellous story of a child in love with nature and a positive reminder that even in the concrete jungle there is space for nature to thrive.
Mae loved living in the countryside with its “winding paths and leafy cubbies”. But she has had to move to the city and now lives amongst the tall buildings and the busy streets. Life in the city is different, surrounded by a concrete jungle there is little room for flowers and trees and plants and there are definitely none of nature’s treasures for Mae to collect for her special jar. Mae is desperate to bring a garden to her new home but it appears that the city is no place for such a thing. Can Mae find a way…
After moving home, Mae really struggles to adapt to her new environment - something that any young child who has ever had to move will really relate to. Desperate to hold onto something that was such a big part of her life she comes up with inventive ways to re-establish her connection with nature. Butterflies fluttering freely and insects creeping through foliage are recreated with chalk drawings on the concrete. They are good for a while, until the rain comes and washes them away. Boxes are drawn on and an indoor garden is created, but they too disappear as her father moves them away. Just when Mae is beginning to lose all hope, she stumbles upon Florette’s, the most wonderful greenhouse shop full of the plants and nature that she has so desperately been craving. Taking inspiration from what she has seen, Mae recreates her own garden within her home.
Mae is a great character with her bob of brown hair and her rosy cheeks. She embodies resilience and the importance of making the best of the situation in which you find yourself - important messages for readers of all ages.
The contrast in the various illustrations is big. Mae’s world is one that is rich in colour - vibrant greens, reds, yellows and pinks. These are all in stark contrast to the city that is depicted in grey and duller colours. The city does have its own appeal with charming store fronts and coloured rooftops but this is of no comfort to nature-loving Mae.
Recommended for 5+.