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My Garden Hardcover – February 23, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—Imagination grows and spreads from the fertile pages of this book to the minds of young readers. Henkes's familiar illustration style invites children into a most unusual garden. It never needs weeding, the flowers are ever-blooming, and colors change just by thinking of them (even into patterns). "In my garden, rabbits wouldn't eat the lettuce because the rabbits would be chocolate and I would eat them." Jelly beans would grow on bushes. Tomatoes would be the size of beach balls, but "carrots would be invisible because I don't like carrots!" Intense pastel colors and soft navy outlines bring the perfect garden to life. Colors splash across the pages, matching the enthusiasm of the text. The vibrancy and size of the artwork make this an excellent choice for groups, large or small. A must for every library.—Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
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A young girl’s garden grows as big as her imagination in Henkes’ latest title that employs what seems to be the elements of his current artistic period: thick outlines; boldly applied, ice-cream parlor colors; and simple declarative sentences. After describing how she helps her mother water and weed, a young girl imagines her own silly and sweet garden filled with eternal flowers that can change color and pattern, chocolate rabbits, seashells that grow new seashells, and a giant jelly-bean bush. (No carrots, though—yuck!) The story’s shift back to the real world is visually and textually subtle and possible to miss, but kids are sure to forget any confusion amid the giggles and dreams the story inspires. While this botanical fantasy may end with a contented sigh instead of an impressed “wow,” it is still an enjoyable tour of an imaginary place and will plant creativity and satisfaction in young minds. Preschool-Grade 1. --Andrew Medlar
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