The Beautiful Garden of Eden

Sharing God’s Story with Little Ones

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The Beautiful Garden of Eden  by Gary Bower and illustrated by Barbara Chotiner is a retelling of Genesis 1-3 in the style of “The House that Jack Built.” Part of the Faith that God Built collection, The Beautiful Garden of Eden is the story of how the first sin occurs when the serpent tempts Eve with the fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil.”

The repetitive cadence of the story invites young readers to predict the upcoming text and recite it from memory.

The rhyming text portrays what leads up to Adam and Eve taking the forbidden fruit, and what happens afterwards:

“This guy is Adam, the very first man,

   molded from mud when Creation began,

Who ate of the fruit , so slurpy and sweet,

   that God warned His gardeners never to eat.”

The Beautiful Garden of Eden

The story is told in the illustrations as well, with a special surprise interwoven in the tree branches toward the end of the story. The vivid colors and vibrant style of the illustrations help express the emotion of the story while remaining childlike and whimsical. all of these elements make The Beautiful Garden of Eden a wonderful way to introduce young children to the Genesis story.

This book is especially fun to read aloud because of its song-like rhymes. There is a beautiful marriage of rhyme and illustration, an important quality of picture books for pre-readers. Young children enjoy looking at enticing illustrations while listening and are more likely to remember the message of the book if they enjoy it. Overall, The Beautiful Garden of Eden is a fun way to introduce a big concept to little learners.

The publisher provided a review copy of The Beautiful Garden of Eden.

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