IN THE CHILDREN'S GARDEN by Carole Lexa Schaefer


Email this review


Both author and illustrator make promising picture-book debuts in this lyrical paean to a Seattle children's garden. Schaefer includes some specifics (the ""deep, dark dirt, rich with rotted grass, apple peels, and onionskins, is tunneled through by worms who wriggle it loose, and give it air"") but dwells more on sensory effects: the sounds of tools in dirt, the feel of patting the earth, the moisture of well-soaked beds ""under the sizzling sun,"" the lush effect of all the crops together; and while she acclaims the garden's welcoming fecundity, she doesn't really convey the children's sense of accomplishment. Pauley reflects the celebratory tone in freewheeling pencil and dazzling colors. Few of her flora are recognizable, but she does capture the sun-dappled green, an exuberant spray of water, and the garden's joyful aura with impressionistic panache. Not essential, but an interesting and well-matched pair of first efforts.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holt