Review by Booklist Review
Sauer follows up her clever Mary Had a Little Glam (2016) with a new parody of the classic rhyme that pulls in a whole cast of Mother Goose characters, who are charmingly represented in Brantley-Newton's playful illustrations. This time, Mary has a plan to convert an abandoned lot in her community into a garden. She mobilizes the community to help, and everyone pitches in for support. Bo Peep brings her sheep to eat the weeds. Jack and Jill go up the hill, watering as they climb. Miss Muffet makes cozy seats, while someone else builds a little free library. It takes a village, but soon there is a wonderful garden for everyone to enjoy. Written in a rhyming format, this picture book makes a fantastic addition to any nursery-rhyme collection, but it's also perfect for children in urban communities who are looking for ideas about what to do with abandoned lots. Urban community gardens are flourishing across major cities, and this is an accessible way to introduce the concept to children.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Mary's "little plan" becomes a major green community project with some planning and assistance. Mary, a Black girl who wears a nest complete with a family of birds on her head, passes an abandoned lot full of trash and promptly gets an idea for "a cleanup and an overhaul." She draws a design and, with a caregiver's help, hauls in paint and decorations and collects donations of flowers, tools, and wood from local shops. After a half-day of picking up trash, though, Mary feels overwhelmed. Prompted by a spider who sits beside her, Mary is inspired to ask friends for help. A diverse group of children and adults joins her efforts to clean up, weed, plant, water, paint a wall, decorate, and set up a free "nook for books." Even the birds living on Mary's head help out. Mary and her friends marvel at their neighborhood improvement: "It showed what love can do." The rhyming text is organized in well-paced couplets that read effortlessly and offer an occasional nod to other nursery rhymes. The type includes words set in a whimsical font in colors that complement Brantley-Newton's lively, playful illustrations. Mary and her friends have loads of personality, and readers will be charmed by the ingenuity, dedication, and community spirit they display. A light read, this story is a glowing example of the magic that results when a thoughtful initiative receives support. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Fun and inspiring. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.