From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3–Scruffy the cat and Mocha the dog set out to help their human family plant a garden and must have their enthusiasm reined in several times. Once things start to grow, they keep rabbits out of the plot. Leah and Aden want to plant pumpkins so that they can give one to each guest at their Halloween party, and recall the fun they had “throwing the leftover pumpkins into the pasture” at the end of the prior season. When the beans are bushy and the corn knee-high, they soak the pumpkin seeds and plant them in mounds, but they do not grow well. Weeks later Louie the rabbit tells Scruffy and Mocha, “The rain washed some of the seeds away. Most of the others rotted. There was too much water.” The rabbit agrees to tell the pets about a field of pumpkins if they promise to allow the rabbits to thin the rows the next spring. Louie leads them to the pasture where the children threw pumpkins last fall, and they joyfully find “tons of pumpkins!” Björkman's colorful cartoon illustrations provide humor and picture clues for the tale. The complex narrative is left justified with no paragraph breaks, making it difficult to identify different speakers. While Louie shares important gardening information with Scruffy and Mocha, beginning readers may find these talking animals confusing.Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
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About the Author
Steve Bjorkman has illustrated more than seventy books for children, including Supersnouts!,
which he also wrote. He lives in Aliso Viejo, California.
Carol Wallace, a former second-grade teacher, has written several children's books. One Nosy Pup
, also illustrated by Steve Bjorkman, won the New Jersey Garden State Reading Award. She lives with her husband, Bill Wallace, in Chickasha, Oklahoma.