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Mystery Vine Paperback – August 25, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: GreenWilBk (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061771988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061771989
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,069,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K—Two children plant a garden in the spring. They water and weed and enjoy each vegetable as it ripens, but they are puzzled by one particular vine. Both spring and summer pass, and finally, in the fall, their mystery vine produces pumpkins. This will come as no surprise to even very young readers, as pumpkins are pictured on both the cover and title page, one of the seed packets the little girl carries has a picture of a pumpkin, and the book is subtitled "a pumpkin surprise." The layout is quite nice, with the text offset in small frames and enticing pictures of vegetables gracing the top, and brightly colored collages with clean lines decorating the pages. However, the rhyming text itself is often forced and awkward. Delightful pumpkin books abound, making this one a marginal purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ END


“A great choice to help prepare children for the fun and fruitfulness of gardening.” (Kirkus Reviews)

More About the Author

Cathryn Falwell is an illustrator and author of more more than 25 picture books for children. Born and raised in the midwest, she has lived on Frog Song Pond in Maine since 1996. Ms Falwell frequently visits schools, libraries and nature centers to talk with children about books, imagination and creativity. She enjoys hiking, drawing, gardening, snow-shoeing, and watching the turtles from her treehouse. You can learn more at her website: or on her blog:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten G. Cutler on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This nice picture book provides a simple, colorful tribute to growing a pumpkin just in time for Halloween. Children plant seeds for a garden; a mystery vine appears, "First came lettuce, crisp and crunching. Bright green peas, so good for munching. Radishes all in a line...But what was that young Mystery Vine?" They tend it and the other plants, and come fall discover that the mystery plant is producing pumpkins just in time for Halloween. Recipes, an experiment for growing seeds and instructions on how to create an "egg friend who will grow green hair" are included. Vibrant and robust collage illustrations stand out perfectly for a large group. This is an entertaining beginning science book for teachers to share with young children, ages 3-8.
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Format: Hardcover
A mystery vine grows in a garden tended by two happy children and their helpful dog. Fluent, natural rhymed text takes the project from seedtime to harvest.

"Last spring we planted lots of seeds.
We watched them grow, and pulled the weeds."

Throughout the growing season, the children enjoy other garden veggies and wonder about the mysterious creeping vine--until its large yellow blossoms turn to pumpkins.

Mixed-media collages fill each two-page spread with lively action and colorful details. The last five pages of the book are devoted to harvest recipes and activities young children can do with a bit of adult assistance, from baking Pumpkin-Apple Bread to making a "Book Vine" that encourages reading. Mystery Vine is a harvest-time book that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
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