Mortimer's first garden

Karma Wilson

Book - 2009

Little Mortimer Mouse, longing to see something green at winter's end, follows the lead of the big people and plants, waters, and weeds his last sunflower seed until, finally, with God's help and a lot of patience, he harvests his crop.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Picture books
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster 2009.
Main Author
Karma Wilson (-)
Other Authors
Dan Andreasen (illustrator)
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : ill. ; 26 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

In early spring, Mortimer the mouse watches children planting seeds in their garden and decides that he won't eat his sunflower seed after all. Instead he plants it, prays that it will grow, and, in answer, hears a voice inside telling him to wait, which he does to good result. Sure to please some parents, the inclusion of God in the narrative at several points doesn't feel tacked on but arises naturally from the writer's outlook. An appealing character set against large-scale artwork that suits the story well.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The mouse introduced in Mortimer's Christmas Manger continues on his journey of faith and enlightenment. Mortimer can't imagine that seeds have any use beyond the immediate gratification of being eaten, but when he sees the human family in his house plant a garden, he decides to use his last sunflower seed to give it a whirl himself. As in many of Wilson's books, the religious message is explicit. Convinced that "the miracle" won't happen, tempted to dig up the seed and eat it, Mortimer hears the voice of God: "Wait." "Suddenly, even though he was drenched with rain," writes Wilson, "Mortimer felt warm and protected." With hard work and prayer, Mortimer produces a "miracle" sunflower and a bumper crop of seeds, which in turn prompts the book's final teachable moment: "And please, God," says a fat and contented Mortimer, "I wouldn't mind a friend to help me eat these." Andreasen channels the style of Jane Chapman, who illustrated the previous title; the transition will go unremarked. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The mouse from Mortimer's Christmas Manger (S & S, 2005) is back in a lovely story about spring and growing things. As he is staring outside at a brown landscape and wishing for green, Mortimer overhears a mother and two children talking about a "springtime miracle," discussing planting one small seed and getting back many seeds. He looks at his last precious sunflower seed and decides to plant it. Somewhat dubious about results, he waits and waits and hopes for a miracle. With a little help from God, who counsels him to be patient, Mortimer finally gets results-a tall, glorious sunflower with many seeds to gather, eat, and use for next year's garden. As he cozies down into his bed of seeds, he thanks God and prays for a friend to share his bounty with, and a smiling black spider settles down nearby. This is a beautifully fashioned picture book, with delicate pastel oil illustrations that perfectly convey the changes brought by spring. The faded tan and peach backdrops gradually transform to pale blues and greens, reflecting the warming weather. Mortimer's feelings of doubt and hope are portrayed with great appeal. A fine choice for little gardeners everywhere.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Mortimer, a mouse, hears the "big people" talking about a garden, water, sunshine, and seeds--a "springtime miracle." Following suit, Mortimer plants his last sunflower seed, but he's tempted to dig it up when nothing happens. A "quiet voice" from God advises him to wait. The chipper illustrations are more engaging than the didactic story. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.