The little gardener Helping children connect with the natural world

Julie A. Cerny

Book - 2020

The Little Gardener is an engaging illustrated guide for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators who want to help children explore the natural world through gardening. Part how-to, part teaching tool, and part inspiration, The Little Gardener is a thoughtful combination of detailed instructions, tips, anecdotes, and seasonal activities designed to connect gardeners to natural systems. With fun projects, useful charts, and creative journal prompts, The Little Gardener shows gardeners of all ages how to envision and build their garden together by making the process an adventure to be treasured, with much to learn along the way.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 635.083/Cerny Checked In
New York : Princeton Architectural Press [2020]
Main Author
Julie A. Cerny (author)
Other Authors
Ysemay Dercon (illustrator)
Physical Description
223 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-222).
  • Dreaming your garden. Visualizing: unearth your creativity ; Discovering: connect with the land ; Preparing: refine your garden vision
  • Crafting your garden. Designing: shape the garden to your intentions and environment ; Planning: set up your garden map and calendar ; Creating: build structures and soil
  • Growing your garden. Planting: bring the garden to life ; Caretaking: steward what sustains you ; Harvesting: experience nature as food
  • Teaching & learning in your garden. Growing a little gardener: teach yourself to guide the way
  • Conclusion: the cultivated, the wild, and you.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Gardener and debut author Cerny advocates for "ecological literacy" in this appealing guide for adults trying to interest children in gardening. "If we don't understand where natural resources come from, how can we ensure they will always be there for us?" Cerny asks. Her curriculum for remedying this defect covers designing, planting, and maintaining a garden, concentrating on ways to "garden like nature" (such as "companion planting, which simply means planting two or more species of plants close together to benefit at least one of them") and feel more connected to the land. Very much following a textbook model, Cerny creates detailed plans for learning activities, chapter reviews, and previews of each upcoming lesson. Her easy-to-follow explanations of such topics as ecosystems and soil erosion ("losing soil faster than nature can replenish it") should be illuminating for adults as well as kids. In addition to horticultural info, Cerny also dispenses some pointers on working with children with different learning styles. This informative and helpful primer will help grown-up gardeners inculcate a lifelong love of the natural world in young minds. With color illus. by Ysemay Dercon. (Mar.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

An outdoor educator who works at the Farm at the Landing in Stuyvesant, NY, Cerny has been teaching about gardening and nature for over a decade. Why should students pursue gardening? It cultivates ecological literacy, which is vital for children understanding how ecological systems support all life on Earth and how our personal choices affect the environment. Cerny captures the child's imagination by asking them to envision their dream garden, then turns their visions into reality by setting goals for its creation. The cycle is completed when children bring their own gardens to life and are able to sustain their own well-being by eating the foods they grew themselves. Multidisciplinary in scope, this book contains reading lists, journal prompts, and math and art tie-ins. VERDICT A comprehensive, fun, and colorful hands-on guide to gardening that will be enjoyable for children of all ages.

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