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When Ruby Tried to Grow Candy Hardcover – January 8, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Ruby Louise Hawthorn, a prim little girl living on a "perfectly perfect" street, climbs her fence to retrieve an errant ball and meets eccentric Miss Wysterious, who grows teacups, eggbeaters, shoes, and other unusual items in her garden. The woman shows Ruby how to plant candy-actually, she doesn't tell her, she barks, just as she also snarls, grumbles, bellows, snaps, chuckles, and only once in the book, says. At any rate, the candy grows profusely, and Ruby knows "just what to do" with her crop of peppermint blossoms and lollipops. The cartoon illustrations show her changing from a super-neat pony-tailed child wearing a little blue dress with puffed sleeves and a Peter Pan collar to a normally untidy child in jeans and sneakers and a T-shirt, tending her garden. Ruby and Miss Wysterious are drawn in what appears to be pen-and-ink with precise outlines and set against a background that is green, almost junglelike, slightly blurry, a mysterious garden where anything could happen. The story is very slight and does not live up to its Mary Poppins-ish promise; children will be delighted with the idea of being able to plant jellybeans and grow a candy crop, but there is no suspense, and it is unlikely that anyone will want to know what happens next.—Marian Drabkin, formerly at Richmond Public Library, CA
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About the Author
Valorie Fisher is the creator of many innovative books for children, most recently How High Can a Dinosaur Count?, which Publishers Weekly called an “entertaining book of numbers” in a starred review. Her other books include Nonsense! and Ellsworth’s Extraordinary Electric Ears and Other Amazing Alphabet Anecdotes, deemed “eye-popping” in a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She also provided the photographs for Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, a middle-grade novel by Peggy Gifford. She lives in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.
Top customer reviews
Ruby Louise Hawthorn is sure that a mean old lady must live on the other side of the fence. But when her ball bounces over that dividing line, Ruby has no choice but to leave a note (in case she perishes) and use a ladder to climb into the next yard.
There she discovers the most amazing sight. Miss Wysterious is growing teacups from trees and flowers with clock faces, and has a yard full of playing cards, toasters, shoes, and other fairly fantastical items.
When Miss Wysterious shares her jellybeans with Ruby and instructs her to plant them, she's at first quite dubious that anything will grow. You can't grow candy, for goodness sake!
Until the day comes, after weeks of working in the garden, that Ruby and Miss Wysterious make an astonishing discovery.
Like I said, this is a delightful story, one that is perfect for reading together. If only I could figure out how to have such a green thumb!
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"