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LILY’S GARDEN by Deborah Kogan Ray


by Deborah Kogan Ray & illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7613-1593-4
Publisher: Roaring Brook

A composed and illuminating passage through a year of gardening on a Maine farm. Lily conducts readers through the seasons at her Maine home via a series of letters she writes to her grandmother, who has moved to California. Understandably, there is not much gardening going on in January, when snow blankets the ground and Lily is more concerned with maple sugaring than weeding. But soon enough it is time for seedlings to be started, daffodils to be cut, and the garden to be prepared. As readers are ushered through the months, one per double-paged spread, they will learn facts—displayed in sidebars—about certain garden produce, carefully chosen for their capacity to impress (as when colonials referred to apples as winter bananas and where the tradition of jack-o’-lanterns came from). They will also walk away with a whole complement of gardening tips, like putting buckets over tomato plants to keep them warm on spring nights and dropping camphor balls around lettuce to discourage rabbits. Ray’s art, expressive, informative, and filled with detail, is perfectly suited to the natural setting. Not least, Lily’s enthusiasm is catching and may well provoke a few more seedlings to be incubated in late-winter windows. (Picture book. 4-8)