From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1-While Mrs. McGee and her toddler are out walking, they come across a beautiful garden and the woman wonders aloud, "How splendid! How pleasant! How simply exquisite!/This garden is perfect-/But whose garden is it?" There are many answers. A rabbit, a woodchuck, birds, worms, bugs, and a mole all claim it as theirs. Even the rain and the earth call the garden their own. A honeybee states, "I pollinate flowers. It's easy to see/This garden would not even be without me!" After the woman and her child listen to the numerous rhyming declarations, they leave, still wondering about the answer. The large watercolor illustrations are perfect for preschool groups. The evocative pictures complement the excellent text, which leads children to look more closely at nature. Combine this book with Hiawyn Oram's Princess Chamomile's Garden (Dutton, 2000; o.p.) and David L. Harrison's Farmer's Garden (Boyds Mills, 2001) for a summer storytime.
Janet M. Bair, Trumbull Library, CT
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PreS-Gr. 1. Out for a stroll with a young child, silver-haired Mrs. McGee sees a glorious profusion of vegetables and flowers. Her question, "Whose garden is it?" launches this rhyming romp, which touches on the intricate relationships between animals and plants, sun, soil, and water. After a gardener proudly claims his plot, a rabbit steps forward, followed by other creatures that each claim garden ownership in a territorial battle that doesn't end with the animals: "I blossom in season / If this is a garden, then I am the reason," says a plant. Even the rain and the sun state their importance. Each speaker is so convincing that in the end, Mrs. McGee repeats her initial question, confused as ever. Although the singsong bounciness of the rhymed couplets and a few images of overdressed animals may strike some as cloying, Hoberman's creative words and upbeat rhythms cheerfully introduce some basic players in the garden web of life, and Dyer's sunny watercolors of a magnificent garden are radiant and inviting. Gillian Engberg
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