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Books for topics KS1 – Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten

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PDF book topic for Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten, by Bob Graham. Written by Christine Chen and Lindsay Pickton.

Key Stage

KS1, KS2


Years 1-4


In this deceptively simple picture book, Bob Graham introduces us to Rose Summers and her family, new arrivals who must learn about their scary (yet unseen) next-door neighbour, Mr Wintergarten.

Through the first half of the book, Mr Wintergarten is experienced only via his intimidating garden of spiky cacti and barbed wire fencing, with the huge, permanently gloomy house in the middle… but there are stories about him, shared by the local children – about his wolf-like dog, his crocodile(!), and how dangerous a trip into his garden would be.

Rose does meet him, of course, and he is indeed fearsome, but we are quickly given insights that evoke pity rather than fear, and then we see how a single act of kindness changes the life of an insular, isolated old man, and benefits the entire neighbourhood. There is a strong history of children’s stories depicting the power of kindness in opening-up a closed heart, and Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten is an excellent example of this.

Post-lockdowns, with isolation and related mental health issues still making themselves felt, this message is surely more important than ever, and this book can be used to explore ideas around acts of kindness towards lonely, perhaps outwardly-unappealing characters.

At a more general level, it is also a near perfect book for exploring inference – nearly everything important in the story is implied, not stated – as well as developing some handy tier 2 vocabulary and authorial techniques that might be borrowed for children’s own stories.

Books for topics KS1 – Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten

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