Review by Booklist Review
Urban gardening is presented as a yearlong activity that starts with preparing the earth and sowing seeds; moves through caring for shoots, buds and flowers, and the maturation of fruits and vegetables; and ends with harvest, storage, and a family feast. Readers follow two children, a dog, and a family of rabbits as they discover the work it takes to garden, the weather changes that occur during the year, and the wonder of plant growth. Each vividly colored spread is accompanied by one simple, descriptive sentence with gardencentric language. The linoleum block-like illustrations have black outlines and texture-adding marks and are colored in ink and multicolored pencils. The final page offers helpful notes about growth processes that are well suited to the intended audience. This is a quiet yet engaging presentation that is sure to inspire gardening attempts by young readers. The generous size of the book and the illustrations also make this a good choice for small-group sharing.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Christensen's (The Princess of Borscht) sturdy, wood engraving-style illustrations show carrots, pumpkins, chard, and beans that look good enough to eat-but waiting is just as important a theme as eating in these verses ("We water and weed/ and dream and wait/ and water and wait some more"). Two neighbors, a yellow-haired girl and a dark-skinned boy, watch as the plants in their garden sprout, flower, then produce fruits and vegetables that they can't help but sample: "When the fruit's the perfect size/ we munch it warm right off the vine,/ sweet and sharp upon our tongues,/ we hold the taste of summertime." In the fall, the girl rolls the boy in their wheelbarrow along with their glorious crop; at Thanksgiving, they sit at the table amid friends and family. They tackle the whole project with almost no adult help-parents appear occasionally in the periphery, but the focus is on the efforts and dedication of the two children. Strong verse and reassuring surroundings confer a sense of the cycle of life and time. Ages 3-7. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Beginning with perusing seed catalogues on a winter day, a boy and girl plan, plant, tend, harvest, and enjoy the bounty from a garden. While no new ground is broken, the book is a standout for two reasons. The language is poetic and evocative: "Our garden sings with buzzing bees,/with rustling leaves and cawing crows,/with gentle rain and whirring wings" and maintains an even, almost musical cadence throughout. The illustrations, with their dramatic black outlines and vivid colors, are a visual treat. There is a sense of magic in this garden as even the animals cavort happily when the first tiny sprouts appear. Although gardening books abound, this one is very much deserving of shelf space (where it will not remain for long!).-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. 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
From its handsome title-page introduction of fourteen vegetable-garden plants to the useful facts and tips arrayed on seed packets on its last page, this is an inspiring celebration of planning, growing, and enjoying the results of a community garden. Christensens cheery rhymed narration names no species (though some are labeled in the art, where most are easily recognizable); rather, she focuses on process ("We water and weed / and dream and wait") and contrasting growth habits ("Some plants grow up [sunflower], / some grow down [carrot], / some grow fast [lettuce], / some grow slowly [pumpkin]"). A boy and girl with comfortably muddy knees are the gardeners; their families join in a bountiful feast, a time to "inhale the gardens rhapsody" and "sing a song of gratitude / forall the springtimes yet to come." The ebullient art offers an abundance of authentic information -- essential activities and tools, plants in various stages of growth -- as well as a number of appealing creatures (rabbits, a raccoon -- pesky all, and better found in a book than a garden!). Last-page facts add such interesting distinctions as the technical difference between fruits and vegetables. Scratchboard-like illustrations in vivid, saturated colors invest the whole cycle, from catalog to harvest, with energy. All in all, an enticing invitation to find a garden plot and join in the fun. joanna rudge long (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
In reverent lines punctuated with occasional and near rhyme, a girl narrates the cycle of working a community-garden plot over three productive seasons. She and her friend (a boy) plan, plant, tend and harvest fruits, veggies and flowers. Their moms help with autumn's lush bounty: "We gather in our garden's gifts / to pickle, bake, or freeze, or dry, / then cook a glorious autumn / feast--soups and salads, / cakes and pies." At the culminating meal, the two families give thanks "for seeds and soil, rain and sun / and all the springtimes yet to come," and the last double-page spread shows the friends sowing seeds anew. Christensen's pictures--rich, brushy reds, greens and golds contoured with thick, inky black line--convey visual affirmations of friendship, cooperation and patience through changing seasons. Basic biological facts about plants, arranged on seed packets scattered across a final page, are reinforced visually throughout. A yellow dog and a rabbit (followed by the inevitable bunny babies) make frequent appearances, and even a raccoon in the corn seems less a pest than part of an idyllic, ecological whole. Text and pictures align nicely in this fresh celebration of gardening as food for both body and soul. (Picture book. 3-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.