A young boy narrates the story of his great-grandfather’s life while moving through a topiary garden where each whimsical topiary represents one of Grandpa Green’s memories, from the chickens that chronicle his childhood on the farm to the berry-speckled boy that depicts his brush with chickenpox to the exploding canon that memorialize his wartime service. Children will be enchanted by the illustrations. Smith deftly mixes moments of surprise and humor into the spongy green foliage and delicate pen-and-ink details. An overwhelmingly green palette adds to the immersive garden effect. The text is sparse, sprinkled with gentle humor that turns more solemn near the end as we learn that Grandpa Green has begun to forget things in his old age – “but the important stuff, the garden remembers for him.” Highly recommended for children ages five to eight, this is an excellent book for opening discussions with young children about artistic expression, aging and family history. A 2012 Caldecott Honor book.