- Age Range: 5 - 6 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
- Lexile Measure: AD730L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 52 pages
- Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452119368
- ISBN-13: 978-1452119366
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 12.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt Hardcover – March 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Beneath every garden lies a secret world down in the dirt. In this enchanting follow-up to Over and Under the Snow (Chronicle, 2011), Messner explores that underground realm. This yearlong adventure begins early in spring, with a young girl learning from her grandmother that the soil is still too cold and wet to begin planting. The pair make plans while earthworms and insects work in the dirt. As the year goes by, they tend to the garden, weeding, watering, and keeping away pests, and later harvesting vegetables. The illustrations are marked by rich brown earth tones, highlighted by brighter colors here and there (a red wheelbarrow, yellow boots) as the seasons reveal themselves slowly. Spreads detail the often unseen life all around the garden, such as a praying mantis that eats mosquitoes, pill bugs that chew through leaves, honeybees that pollinate flowers, and a garter snake that hunts grasshoppers. Neal effectively uses light and dark to show the contrast between night and day; an image of foraging rabbits by day is eventually replaced by a nighttime scene of skunks "[working] the night shift." Each page invites readers to linger over the quiet text, which gently moves the story along. Back matter includes an author's note and a complete listing of the many creatures mentioned throughout. VERDICT A beautiful, informative addition to any collection.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
"Offers excellent coming attractions for what youngsters can expect when they try to grow something."--Reading Today
"Will have readers itching to get their hands dirty."--Baltimore Sun
"This is a really sweet book that explains how nature helps make a garden, with teamwork."--This Kid Reviews Books
"This beautifully illustrated work shines a light on life beneath the surface."--Modern Luxury: Manhattan
"The harmonious relationships above and below ground, and those between the two, emphasize the complexities of the garden ecosystem, as well as the joys of sustained engagement with the land."--The Horn Book Magazine
Top customer reviews
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Perfect to add to your collection if you are particularly fond of nature, the outdoors, the changing of the seasons, gardening, insects, and the like.
It is on the surface a simple story, but you can read it again and again just looking at the artwork.
How many invertebrates can you find? Can you draw a plant above and below the dirt? Draw/write about one thing that happens in each of the four seasons. Use play dough to make some of the creatures found in the book... or to make a model of a life cycle or a food chain you see. See what I mean? This book is packed! I don’t need textbooks in my classroom when books like this are so much more inspiring!
Great for kids who like bugs and dirt because the pictures let you see what's going on under the ground.