Mr. Goethe's Garden title page

“To know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit–this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By Diana Cohn
illustrated by Paul Mirocha
published by Bell Pond Books,
a division of Steiner Books

“Mr. Goethe, how did you ever learn to paint these plants so they look so alive?
Mr. Goethe turned his kind face to me. “First,” he said, “I listen with my eyes. I give each plant my full attention, as I do you. Like friends, plants tell you their secrets only when they know you care.”

—from Mr. Goethe’s Garden

Mr. Goethe’s Garden tells the story of a unique friendship between an inquisitive young girl, Anna, and her neighbor, the elderly, world-famous playwright, artist and natural scientist, Johann von Goethe. Anna visits Mr. Goethe in his well-tended garden where he teaches her to draw and to observe the world of nature in a special way. Set in the 1830s, this book was inspired by Goethe’s life and his botanical treatise The Metamorphosis of the Plant.

Exquisitely sensitive illustrations and elegant text reveal the intricate wonders of the plant kingdom. As the bonds of friendship deepen between Anna and her wise neighbor, she experiences a new way of seeing the natural cycle of the plant from seed to flower to fruit and to seed again. “… Just practice listening with your eyes, and one day when you least expect it, you will see with your heart and be swept up into nature’s dance.” An informative afterword describes the life of Goethe and his many accomplishments. (Ages 6-9)

— From the Steiner Books Catalog

“…it is among the best children’s books I’ve ever read.”

Bob and Nancy’s Bookshop

While researching this book, author Diana Cohn and I traveled to Goethe’s house, now restored as a museum, in Weimar, Germany. I too drew and painted in Mr. Goethe’s garden. So you can know that this book truly comes from Mr. Goethe’s Garden.

All the artwork was done combining watercolors and digital paintings.

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