From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6?The picture-book format of this title belies its thoroughness, but as soon as readers open it, the riches begin to appear. Lerner uses her background in botany and botanical illustration to provide an additional dimension to the adventure of starting one's own vegetable garden. Readers are instructed on how to choose a site, prepare the ground, make a plan, select plants and seeds, and deal with pests and problems. Two different plans are offered, varying in size and kinds of vegetables; they are shown in both spring and summer, since crops are planted at different times. After the preparation is discussed there is a procedural chapter for each month, March through October. In April, for instance, the specific vegetable plants and their parts are described and shown in meticulous watercolor and pencil illustrations. The specific pests and weeds that may appear, as well as how to recognize them and deal with them without chemicals, are discussed. Difficulties are not minimized, but by the end of the book, readers are likely to be ready for the challenge of growing their own food and learning about the related flora and fauna. Marjorie Waters's The Victory Garden Kids' Book (Globe Pequot, 1994) is also excellent; it includes more vegetables but fewer weeds and pests. Having both books would be just right.?Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. In this large-size picture book, Lerner offers both inspiration and plenty of practical advice for children who might like to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard. After an introductory chapter on gardening basics--types of soil and seed catalogs, etc.--she gives two sample garden plans, which she then follows over the course of a typical gardening season. Each garden has two crops, with spring vegetables, such as peas and lettuce, succeeded by summer plantings of tomatoes and peppers. An elegant book design and Lerner's delicately detailed watercolors, complete with hand-lettered labels, make this a pleasure to read as well as a solid source of information. Gardeners who also enjoy birds might want to take a look at Lerner's Backyard Birds of Summer (1996). Susan Dove Lempke
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