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If there's one place where three generations of Clinton women have bonded through the years, it's the garden. That's the message in Grandma's Garden, the new children's book by former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, 72, and her daughter, Chelsea, 40. “It came truly from our mutual and shared cross-generation love of gardens,” Chelsea said in a joint phone interview with her mom about the book, which comes out March 31.
Throughout the story (for ages 4 to 8), they each take turns explaining how Hillary's mother, Dorothy Rodham, who died in 2011, inspired their love for gardening, with whimsical illustrations by Carme Lemniscates.
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Secretary Clinton said these days she likes to get down and dirty in the soil with her grandkids — Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky's children, Charlotte, 5, and Aidan, 3 (baby Jasper is still too little) — when they visit her and their grandfather, former President Bill Clinton, at their home in Chappaqua, New York. “I was so thrilled that they were interested,” she said. “We have loved every minute of it.”
Though mother and daughter were to have been traveling on a national book-promotion tour, that's been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak — leaving these book lovers some extra time to dive into their favorite series in the coming weeks (see their go-to authors below). More from our interview:
I loved listening to my mom and grandma talk about all the places in the world where our food comes from — including our own backyard. — Chelsea
As a little girl I remember my mom explaining that some of my favorite foods, like peaches, were so special because they grow only during summer months. — Hillary
Memories of Dorothy
Hillary: My mother loved to garden. And I remember that from when I was a little girl and she was planting and weeding and setting up trellises for roses in our small garden in the back of our house where I grew up. When she later came to live with us in Washington, she took over the garden, and spent so many hours happily planning and talking to the people who were doing the actual physical work — because she was by then in her mid-80s. But she was deeply involved and, wherever she could, lending a hand.