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Diana's White House Garden Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Diana (Hopkins) Halsted, the daughter of one of Franklin Roosevelt's close advisors, lived at the White House during World War II. Without other children around, she spends most of her time with Fala, the Roosevelts' dog. After her playful activities get her in trouble with the White House staff, it is decided that a good way to direct Diana's energy would be for her to take care of a Victory Garden on the lawn. The 10-year-old becomes part of a publicity plan to encourage people all over the country to help the war effort by growing their own food. This book connects with the current day as Michelle Obama and many schools are involved in gardening, and demonstrates how that movement has roots in the 1940s. An author's note describes conversations with the real Diana, who is still living. The style of the illustrations reflects the time period. Created with pencil, gouache, and digital methods, sepia-toned backgrounds are drawn but not filled in or completely colored. Painted people and Fala are fully colored and appear more solid. They are arranged on the pages almost like characters on a stage or paper dolls being moved through different scenes. The effect is visually interesting but not highly engaging for children. The pictures reflect great attention to detail, with people of varying races featured in street scenes in Washington, DC. Front endpapers show the garden plants sprouting, while those at the back include vegetables ready for harvest. VERDICT The many curricular tie-ins make this book a good choice for school libraries.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Praise for Diana's White House Garden:
"A cheerful mix of gardening, history and patriotism."--New York Times Book Review
"Carbone’s straightforward text features just the right details to engage children [and] is complemented by Hill’s mix of simple line drawings and muted colors that evoke the era’s austerity....An important piece of our history."--Kirkus Reviews
"Playfully [depicts] Diana’s well-meaning mischief and her gardening work with Mrs. Roosevelt and the groundskeeper."--Publishers Weekly
"Carbone's depiction is lively and entertaining [while] Jen Hill's line drawings with muted gray and pastels add to the austerity of the period."--SLC
Top customer reviews
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The illustrations are also fabulous. I love how the background at times is just charcoal although still very detailed. The people are in color with detailed expressions. The colors are all slightly softened as if aged which is the perfect feel for this historical biography. The first picture in the book is beautiful and my favorite of the book. It shows Diana standing in the White House drive. The White House is in charcoal and most of the picture is black and white except Diana and tree limbs with cherry blossoms in the foreground. Just beautiful.
Pros: A nice bit of World War II historical fiction. Diana is a likeable character, with both a mischievous side and an admirable desire to contribute to the war effort.
Cons: Diana’s life looks like it was a lot sadder than portrayed in this book…her mother died before this story takes place and her father, just a few years after.
It was a tremendous success that Diana Hopkins had a huge part in along with the White House dog, Fala.
I wish all of the schools would partake in having school gardens so all of the children can learn the value of growing your own food. So much can be gained from partaking in this science and common sense curriculum activity. Students could also learn about the environment, and financing by continuing the growing season through summer school when many of the crops would be harvested.
Excellent picture book written as a fiction story but based on true events and people.
Written by Elisa Carbone, illustrated by Jen Hill and published by Viking Books.
#PB #Fcition #NF #truestorybased #mustread #gardens
Who got it going? Why, a little girl.
It's a lovely little story, told well for the young audience. I suspect you grownups will like it, too.