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My Garden

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Spring colors of lilac, daffodil yellow, pale blue, and leafy green bloom in Caldecott Medalist Henkes's fanciful account of the great outdoors. "My mother has a garden. I'm her helper," explains a girl, who wears a petunia-pink dress and a golden straw hat. She dutifully waters and weeds, "but if I had a garden," she says, things would be less predictable. Gazing up at sunflowers, she giggles to imagine them colored in dots and plaids. She picks a flower and, in her perfect garden, another pops right up. Seashells and jelly beans sprout, disliked vegetables are invisible, and pests are not a problem: "the rabbits would be chocolate and I would eat them." At this, the girl nibbles a bunny, surrounded by cocoa rabbits wearing telltale ribbons. Henkes gives the young storyteller a matter-of-fact voice and a sly sense of humor, while dewy watercolors and ink picture her reveling in a magical world of plants, birds, and butterflies. Even as the story elevates the wonders of nature into the realm of the fanciful, it reminds readers to appreciate everyday flowers and soil. Ages 2-7. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

"This intimate exploration of a child's burgeoning imagination hits every note right...Just plain perfect."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Imagination grows and spreads from the fertile pages of this book to the minds of young readers...A must for every library."--School Library Journal (starred review) "Henkes gives the young storyteller a matter-of-fact voice and a sly sense of humor, while dewy watercolors and ink picture her reveling in a magical world of plants, birds, and butterflies."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "With its adroit look at a child's colorful imagination, My Garden is as fresh and inviting as spring after winter."--Horn Book (starred review)

PreS-Gr 2-Based on the charming book by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, 2010), this is a delightful introduction to gardens. The young girl in the story helps with the family garden, which involves a lot of work for what she sometimes considers to be questionable results. (She does NOT like carrots.) Yet, as she works her imagination takes flight, and the garden she dreams of grows seashells, flowers that change colors, things that glow in the dark, and crops that would render you speechless with their size. The story circles back to reality, with a touch of whimsy thrown in, as no one truly wants to abandon their dreams-and-well, what if.? Henkes's vivid and child-friendly illustrations are charmingly animated for this presentation as Cassandra Morris reads the story in a young voice that captures its mood perfectly. A read-along option is provided. This exceptional program will tie in naturally with plant and garden units, and serve as a seed for growing interesting creative writing assignments.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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