Monday, September 11, 2017

My Busy Green Garden


   Tidewater is fortunate in so many ways, especially our long growing season. Gardens continue to produce fruits and vegetables into the fall, and in many ways, this is the loveliest time for us to be outdoors. And for children and families, we haven't missed the chance to explore if we didn't plant a spring garden.
     My Busy Green Garden, by Terry Pierce with illustrations by Carol Schwartz opens our eyes to the wonders of a fully grown garden. It may well be a September garden with its multiple forms of life. Pierce's text builds like " This is the house that Jack built" with one line adding to the previous one, ending in " my busy green garden." The rhymes are natural for read aloud, and you could add a line of music if your like. Early in the book, we learn of ladybugs dawdling, honeybees buzzing, hummingbirds fluttering, all hovering around a " surprise. Read on to find out what the surprise turns out to be!
    Picture books thrive when illustrations are generous with color and big, page filling images. Schwartz's line and color remind me of botanical drawings, with great detail and lively colors. It's no surprise that she achieves this because she has illustrated many children's science books, including Sea Squares, a Children's Choice award winner. If you like other books featuring natural science subjects, consider Stories from the Bug Garden, by Lisa Moser and Gwen Millward, and Some Bugs, by Angela DiTerlizzi, with bugs drawn by Brendan Wenzel.

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