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Inch by Inch: The Garden Song (Trophy Picture Books) Paperback – April 11, 1997


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Inch by Inch: The Garden Song (Trophy Picture Books) + Planting a Rainbow + The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: Trophy Picture Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064434818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064434812
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Musician and songwriter Mallett presents a peppy rendition of a familiar folksong, the music to which is printed on the book's final spread. Rake over his shoulder and brimmed straw hat pulled down to his eyes, a grinning young gardener struts down the path as the refrain begins: "Inch by inch, row by row,/ gonna make this garden grow./ All it takes is a rake and a hoe,/ and a piece of fertile ground." After planting seeds, the diligent protagonist-hands folded and gazing at the sky-asks that "someone bless these seeds I sow." Though its flat, somewhat muddy palette seems at odds with the effervescence of the song, Eitan's (Sun Is Falling, Night Is Calling) accomplished art exerts a strong pull; her style is at once simple and sophisticated, by turns representational and abstract. Heartwarming. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1?In this picture-book version of the song first published in 1975 (Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co.), a young child plants seeds, prays that God will bless them, weeds and tends them, and, finally, gleans a bountiful harvest. The rhyming text, which is at times ambiguous ("Feel the need to grow my own/'cause the time is close at hand"), takes second place to the delightful illustrations. The young gardener, wearing a shirt, vest, and pants, with an oversized hat that covers facial features, could be male or female. Accompanied by a playful dog, the child works, slides down rainbows, defends the garden against a hungry crow, and gathers the produce. The paintings are large with some objects spilling over into the ample white space that makes up the borders. Employing a variety of media including cut paper, Eitan uses color and space to create a striking effect. For example, orange tones are picked up in the child's vest, the tree bark, fruits, roof tops, and the earth. Musical notation appears at the end of the book. Use this with Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup (Harcourt, 1987) and Douglas Florian's Vegetable Garden (Harcourt, 1991) for a celebration of gardening in story and song.?Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

My name is David Mallett and I was born in 1943. In London I worked within walking distance of all of Jack the Ripper's murder sites which raised my interest in the man. I have five references saying that Jack the Ripper may have been a policeman. In 1962 my parents, my brother and I migrated to Australia where I spent twelve years with the Royal Australian Air Force as a fireman, and then a further thirty years as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Perth's biggest psychiatric facility. I retired in 2011. Married twice with two children. I have always been a reader of true crime and true stories; I like to know what motivates people, what inspired them and what became of them. Since I obtained my first computer I have tapped out numerous attempts at short / long stories and my book 'An Evil Legacy' is the culmination of years of trying. Grammar and syntax, narrative style and subtle adjectives had to be learned and re-learned. I became hooked on the process of writing and honestly looked forward to talking to my characters and have them talk to me to see if the plot sounded plausible. Edit, edit and edit again is the answer. Delete whole pages if necessary; change around paragraphs, change names and dates if necessary to enhance the plot line. I think that something has to happen on each page. I tried to interest many publishers and literary agents in the book without any luck, but with hindsight it was obvious the book wasn't ready - I thought it was ready years ago but of course it wasn't. It is now

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
In 1975, folksong writer David Mallett wrote that infinitely catchy song "Inch By Inch". Children world-round have undoubtedly heard this product in one form or another. Whether it was John Denver on "The Muppet Show" (whee!) or in their preschools, "Inch By Inch" is, suffice it to say, well-known. Fast-forward to 1995 and David Mallett goes the next logical step. Whether he intended it or not, "Inch By Inch" is primarily sung to children. And when you've a catchy and popular children's song under your belt, why not make it into a picture book? Not all folksongs work as children's books (I've yet to see a well-done "Turn Turn Turn" or "Kumbiyah" though infinite books carry those songs) but "Inch By Inch" is that rare exception that when it works, WORKS!

"Inch by inch / row by row / gonna make this garden grow / All it takes is a rake and a hoe / and a piece of fertile ground". Sing along! You know the tune! Going through a variety of verses, we see a cheery child (possibly a boy, possibly a girl) doing some gardening. The kid, faithful pup in tow, hoes the ground, plants seeds, pulls weeds, and removes stones. The weeds and stones are amusingly huge, but the exaggeration works. Though black crows threaten, the crop is full and hearty. In the back of the book is the sheet music and lyrics for the original song itself.

Illustrator Ora Eitan is thus far best known for "Bunnies" books, like "Astro Bunnies" and "Cowboy Bunnies". Here, Eitan's distinctive style serves the book well. The pictures are both simplistic and mildly detailed. There's a great deal of fun at work here and it would take a hard-hearted child indeed not to want to grow something of their own after a reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I reconnected with this song after hearing John Denver sing it on a recently released 'Muppet Show' DVD. It's a song that I have enjoyed sharing with my 2 year old daughter and the book brings the lyrics to life. The illustrations are beautiful and well reflect the lyrics. The book is a staple must-read for us throughout the day and is essential at bedtime (Mom, sing the garden song again!). Several children's cds have this recording by other artists, but my favorite by far is the John Denver.
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By Hillary K on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son loves this book! We love sitting down and singing it together. Brings one of the songs he hears at school to life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Found this at the library and read/sang it with my daughter, then had to buy it for my sister to learn on the ukulele. The illustrations are cute, though not the best I've seen. Beautiful song.
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By Music Sparks on July 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This song was sung with the book in a recent intergenerational group I lead. My only complaint is moving the direction of the book for one of the page layouts is an issue. Otherwise, LOVE IT!
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