This charming look at a cooperative project outdoors in fresh air and sunshine captures the appeal of gardening and may...

THE CHILDREN'S GARDEN

GROWING FOOD IN THE CITY

A multiethnic group of five children plants and cares for their own neighborhood garden in a city setting.

This engaging story was inspired by a real community garden for children in Seattle. In this interpretation, the group of young gardeners includes two Asian girls, a black boy, a boy with light-brown skin, and a white boy. The kids appear to be on their own without adult supervision on this project, as they work cooperatively on a large plot of land with plentiful supplies for preparing the soil, planting seeds, watering, and weeding. The children also take time to play in the garden space and rest inside their “bean tent,” a cleverly constructed oasis of green bean vines twining around a tall structure of plant stakes. The short, evocative text effectively uses rich, imaginative language to describe the process of gardening with phrases such as “drip-drop damp” and sunflowers “rustling their leafy dresses.” Vivid illustrations in a naïve style use bright greens, sunny backgrounds, and a rainbow of flowers and produce to present the garden as a lively, welcoming environment. Anywhere Farm, by Phyllis Root and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2017), also shows children gardening in an urban setting, making a nice pairing.

This charming look at a cooperative project outdoors in fresh air and sunshine captures the appeal of gardening and may inspire children to plant some seeds of their own. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57061-984-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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