I HAVE A GARDEN

From the I Like To Read series

Barner’s entry in the I Like to Read series features an appealing white dog narrating a simple text.

“I have a frog in my garden. / I have a bird in my garden.” A chipmunk, a bug, a bee, and additional fauna and flora flourish on successive spreads. The dog, which dashes about with a bone or stick, declares, a bit too greedily, “This garden is all for me.” With a turn of the page, all of the previously pictured creatures gather together, visually conveying the text’s corrective sentiment: “No. This garden is for all of us.” Barner’s exuberant gouache-and-pastel cut-paper collages feature stylized sunflowers, poppies, daisies and more. A bluebird’s topknot looks like a heart, echoing the shape of the dog’s shiny nose. Pictures and words (delivered in the educational typeface “Report School”) cohere nicely, offering blossoming readers some fresh, springy practice. The bright pictures, particularly coupled with the clearly defined value of the garden as a shared environment, make this a nice choice for preschoolers, too.

Sweet and sturdy. (Early reader. 2-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2527-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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