It’s time to harvest the school garden, and a young gnome has difficulty controlling his excitement.
The class at Greenthumb Elementary is decidedly diverse. Not only do the children display a variety of skin tones, there are also a few anthropomorphic rabbit students (also apparently of different ethnicities), plus…one gnome. The white-bearded youngster has a bulbous nose, huge smile, and unbridled enthusiasm. So much so, in fact, that he wreaks havoc on the garden. Mr. Waters first instructs Gnome to pull weeds. But soon his eagerness takes over, and he uncontrollably begins ripping everything from the ground, crops included. This causes the students to cry out in dismay, “No, no, Gnome!” (an all-too-familiar refrain for them). By the time Gnome’s bursts of energy are finally calmed, the garden is in ruins. The other students droop as dejectedly as the tattered plants. No one wants to speak to Gnome. He must figure out a way to earn their forgiveness. In a solution that encourages readers to repair their mistakes (even if it’s a bit unrealistic that a whole garden could be fixed in a single afternoon), Gnome’s smile shines brightly again. The warm, gouache illustrations showcase a bountiful harvest of produce and friendship.
A lighthearted glimpse into a hyperactive, impulsive tot’s world and a possible learning tool to encourage social-emotional growth. (Picture book. 4-8)