Xinyu Zhou

Illustration, BA (Hons)

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NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.


Once there was a gardener who had no friends. He always talked to flowers when he felt lonely, but flowers never replied. One day a girl and a businessman came into this garden and they talked to flowers. So……why flowers never talked back to the gardener?

My Degree Show project is to participate in Macmillan’s children’s book illustration competition. The inspiration for writing this story came from my primary school experience. I used to transfer to a new school. When I didn’t make friends at the beginning, I brought a pot with a flower to the school every day to talk to the flower. So I came up with the story of a gardener who would talk to flowers when he felt lonely. But this is not a fairy tale that a person can really talk to the flowers. In this story, people and flowers cannot really communicate. Finally, the gardener made real friends.

Simply put the story of this children’s book, a lonely person find friends, finally. Rather than teaching children something through this picture book, I would rather say that I want to show a sense of gentle and peaceful. I hope children (adults can be in, too) who have a very lonely life that is similar to the gardener of this story would have the courage to get in touch with people and have new friends after reading this book.