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Vegetable Dreams:Huerto Sonado Hardcover – June 1, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–Erin dreams of having a vegetable garden but her parents don't think she is ready to take on such a responsibility. Luckily, Mr. Martinez, her elderly neighbor, has a lifetime of gardening experience and offers to share his plot with her. Together, they plan for, plant, and carefully tend the seedlings. As the vegetables grow, so does their friendship. What the story lacks in excitement or character development it makes up for in its portrayal of the slow and steady passing of the summer growing season. The impressionistic pastel illustrations suit the quiet mood perfectly, and the Spanish translation is adeptly done.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"...easy to read...both Hispanics and English-speaking families can use it." -- Susan Langford for readerviews.com
"...soft, Monet-like illustrations I wouldn't mind framing. . .a sweet hope-filled story with many subtle but profound messages. . . " -- Author's Choice Reviews
" breezes along at a quick pace truly educational for all soft, chalk-like drawings HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" -- Lea Schizas The Muse Book Reviewer
" great learning tool wonderful combination of text in two languages and bright, gentle illustrations children will be sure to enjoy." -- Wee Ones Magazine
" illustrations give the narrative "an old-fashioned story feel" sure to appeal to both groups of children " -- JoAn Martin, The Baytown Sun, Baytown, TX
...the pursuit of a dream, telling it, longing for it, and discovering that sharing it brings unexpected help... -- Rebecca - New York City
..touching book..demonstrates benefits of hard work and non-traditional friendships. Ideal for lessons on relationships or the elderly. -- Children's Literature
A great teaching tool not only because of the wonderful story, but the use of past tense in Spanish. -- Lynn Nuthals, Spanish Teacher Green Bay, WI
Recommended Read -- Brodart Espanol
This book helps to recapture the many good times I had in our garden. Thank you for writing it. -- Cheryl Kroll - Green Bay
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Top customer reviews
"Vegetable Dreams/Huerto sonado" is written in both English and Spanish. In "Vegetable Dreams," Erin wants to raise a garden. Her mother and father tell her that it is too much work. Her neighbor decides, with the parents' permission, to help her raise a garden.
She picks out the seeds, plants them, and harvests the vegetables. Parish kept pointing to the tomato, but she thinks it is an apple. She keeps arguing with me about that.
The pictures are light and airy. Parish was drawn to the one with the little girl crying while sitting on a swing. She likes Erin 's long dress. We read this a week before planting our garden. This really got her excited about helping us plant the seeds.
The words are easy-to-read for beginning readers. "Vegetable Dreams/Huerto sonado" is a wonderful book for both English and Spanish-speaking children. I recommend it.
Reviewed by Susan Langford for Reader Views (5/06):
The author's main point of the book is about hard work and determination with an up lifting tale of dreams fulfilled. I think the Dawn Jeffers was very successful with this story. The story is well written and easy to read to children and easy for them to understand.
I read the story to my nieces that are 4, 3 and 3 and they really enjoyed it. They have a very close relationship with my father and he has a garden that they help him with so when I read about the tomatoes in the garden they associated very well and understood. My nieces and I enjoyed the story and it was easy to read, not too long and not too short. Great pictures for me, but I think that Sara, the four year old, would have liked for the pictures to be more like photographs. She thought a child had colored the pictures.
I think the book would be great for any office where families have to wait or in libraries, because both Hispanics and English speaking family can use it.
Book received free of charge
The truth of the matter is, within the very first paragraph, although quite simple, the pull to find out what was going to happen had already captured me:
"Erin jumped out of bed. She ran downstairs where her parents were eating breakfast. She couldn't wait to tell them about her garden dream."
Why was Erin so eager to describe this dream? Would this dream be achieved? How would her parents react? These and a few other questions popped in my head and I judged the author's capability to foresee questions she foreshadowed in her first paragraph and how they would come about in Vegetable Dreams. Dawn Jeffers did a superb job answering them and allowing me to reflect my own dreams and inspirations as Erin pursued her own.
The book breezes along at a quick pace, and the bilingual aspect is truly educational for all, with a vocabulary index at the back.
At times a book comes along with the notion it is only geared for children; yet in Vegetable Dreams, its message and inclusion of an adult man's own family reflections truly aim to please both, the young and old at heart. The artist, Claude Schneider, manages to bring the story to life using soft, chalk-like drawings, bringing Dawn Jeffers' treasure Vegetable Dreams close to a reader's heart.
I highly recommend this 32 page picture story book for all families to read and share.
Text: Dawn Jeffers
Illustration: Claude Schneider
Raven Tree Press LLC $16.95
When a neighbor offers to help her plant a garden, the whole family gets involved. Throughout the growing season, she learns a lesson about hard work and friendship as well as the satisfaction (and rewards) of a job well done.
A simple story told in both English and Spanish with a short dictionary in the back. The story is embellished with soft Monet-like illustrations I wouldn't mind framing.
A sweet, hope-filled story with many subtle but profound messages of the joy of working together, the satisfaction found in working toward a goal, that the rewards far outweigh effort expanded and that we must work to make our dreams a reality.
---Author's Choice Reviews: Carolyn R. Scheidies