Rose meets Mr Wintergarten is quite simply a perfect picture book. Rose is a compassionate and brave little girl who takes a small step into the unknown which leads to miraculous changes in her neighborhood.
The open scene for this book comes on the end papers. Bob Graham is a master of this. He does not waste one page in his picture books. On this spread we see two houses side by side. One is large, grey and imposing with huge barbed wire fences, a cactus garden and dark foreboding windows. The other is a little friendly yellowish house with green window shutters, freshly mown lawns and large trees in the back yard. A new family are moving into the little house. The moving van has a rainbow on the side (we all know there are good things at the end of a rainbow!) and among the furniture and family members you can see a sheep and a chook!
On the title page the For Sale sign now says Sold and the whole family are posing for a photo outside their new front gate. Once they have settled in, the family begin to plant out their garden with a wondrous array of colorful flowers. Every morning our new family climb on to the roof of their lovely house to celebrate the sunrise. Even the sheep and the chook participate in this lovely ritual.
But what of the neighbor? Rose discovers from the local children that he is a monster with a dog like a wolf and a saltwater crocodile. While playing football in the garden Rose accidentally kicks her ball over the fence and thus her quest for the ball and the truth begins.
The final scenes of this story are again played out on the last end paper. The fences and gone, the rainbow van is back to collect the barbed wire and Mr Wintergarten himself can be seen playing a friendly game of football with the neighborhood children. Rose has accomplished so much. How did she do this? Read Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten to find out. Then you should look at The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde and A bus called Heaven also by Bob Graham.
Here are some teaching notes .