ONE SMALL GARDEN by Barbara Nichol


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Nichol (Trunks All Aboard, not reviewed, etc.) wields a glorious simplicity of language to tell a few true stories and impart a lot of natural history about a garden in the city of Toronto. That glorious simplicity is matched by the radiance of Moser’s (Sit, Truman, p. 1026, etc.) watercolors, where every leaf and petal is rendered in exquisite detail and every cat and raccoon face looks familiar. There are 12 chapters, each further subdivided, so that every section is quite brief and some loop back again to complete a story started earlier. Readers meet the raccoon family and the line of ants on the maple tree by the garden gate in the very first chapter, and their fates and histories come round again at the end. They meet the poisoned gardener who sprayed so much that he vanished as well as the pests. They’ll see the mulberry tree roots and learn the difference between annuals and perennials. There’s Butch the cat and his house, Marjorie who climbed a tree, and Sarah who saw a bear. All of these parts make such an attractive package, to be read eagerly by youngsters entranced by growing things (including themselves). Small print might slow some folks down, but it lends itself to being read aloud, so the rhythm of weeding, watering, mowing, and feeding can be heard by more reluctant readers. A lovely, personal look at nature. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-88776-475-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001


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