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My Garden Hardcover – February 23, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 670 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061715174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061715174
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, move over. There's a new girl in the garden -- a happy, little daydreamer who envisions chocolate rabbits, jelly bean bushes and seashell fields. Kevin Henkes sows the seeds of imagination and illustrates with colors of spring in his newest picture book, My Garden. A barefoot little girl helps her mother in a cheery garden by watering and weeding the plants. All the while, she fantasies about her ideal garden.

"In my garden, the flowers could change color just by my thinking about it -- pink, blue, green purple. Even patterns."

The little girl's vast imagination takes readers beyond the restraints of the world, into a extraordinary place where the flowers never die and where umbrellas conveniently pop out of the ground just as the spring rain begins. Kevin Henkes adds another feather to his brimming hat with this beautiful book. His spectacular, watercolor illustrations overflow the pages with creative page layout. Fanciful images appear as full bleeds and then he takes readers back to reality with smaller spot illustrations. His book spurs the imagination and presents endless possibilities as a read aloud.

My daughter considered what her own garden might contain and decided on toys, kittens, puppies, and balloons! She loved thinking outside the box!
(Review copy provided by publisher)
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very sweet book.

It is not, truth to tell, as absolutely perfect as Henkes's other books. Owen and Wemberly Worried and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse are all genuine achievements in children's literature: books about kids' lives that don't sound like Books About Kids' Issues.

This book isn't quite as quirky and delightful and wise as those.

But it is still a very sweet book--a lovely walk through a little girl's imaginary garden, complete with giant tomatoes, chocolate bunnies (instead of the troublesome lettuce-stealing ones), jelly bean bushes, and pink-and-purple plaid sunflowers.

It's not a must-have children's book, but if you get it, you'll enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover
Henkes' newest offering is in the same style as Old Bear and A Good Day, which in turn seemed to build on the black and white style of his Caldecott-winning Kitten's First Full Moon. Lots of soft, sunny pastels of green, pink and purple, outlined in thick muted blue lines dominate this springtime story. After spending the day in the garden with her mother, a little girl begins to imagine a fantasy garden. In her ideal world, "flowers could change color just by thinking about it." She also dreams of tomatoes as big as beach balls and flowers which grow back the instant you pick them. This isn't explicitly an Easter story, but she does wish for chocolate rabbits (instead of the pesky nibblers of her real garden) and bushes of jellybeans. When the girl gets ready to go inside for the night, she acknowledges that her dream garden probably couldn't really exist, but she does go ahead and plant a seashell... just in case. The author's sly wink of an ending shows a cutaway view with the shell growing roots.
Henkes fans will not be disappointed with My Garden. This book is sure to be a staple in children's book collections for many years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
I love choosing books for storytime that encourage children to think and imagine, and this one does just that. It's very simple both in text and illustrations, and the best part about it is that it promotes interaction. The kids had a great time telling me what they would plant in their garden! It's a perfect spring time read and a good way to start talking about gardens and growing things.

I do want to include how much I have enjoyed all of this author's most recent books. They are perfect for group sharing and all foster the imagination - from Birds, to A Good Day, to Old Bear and now My Garden, the author has provided us with beautiful spare stories that really pack a wallop and are a joy to share with even the youngest children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first got this book from the library to read to my class for our unit on plants. I loved it so much i ended up buying it. Its great to incorporate writing into our reading and science lesson and the kids love to be able to come up with their own ideas of what their gardens would look like.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully illustrated book that typifies Kevin Henkes' gift as a children's writer. Both of my kids love it even though I bought it for my daughter when she was four. It is a great gift for the Easter basket or for a spring/summer birthday.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to read to my Pre-K class of 4 and 5 year old students. We are learning about growing things and have planted beans and peas. We also planted Marigold seeds to give as gifts for Mother's Day. This book was a great extension for the lesson. The pictures are beautiful, the story simple and it gave the class a chance to dream about planting other things in their own imaginary garden. They especially liked the chocolate rabbits that were planted in this book and the invisible carrots "because I don't like carrots". A lot of laughter came from this circle time story. I plan to read it each year during our spring planting unit. I also shared the book with other teachers who read it to their classes and had equally rewarding responses from their students. Keep writing Kevin!
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