A grandmother’s vision and instruction inspires a little girl to change the desolate look of her inner-city neighborhood by encouraging the community to plant a series of vegetable gardens.
Toña’s abuela explains how the garden she cultivated as a small girl on her own little square patch of land yielded the sweet tomatoes she loved. Together, grandmother and granddaughter walk through the neighborhood, finding lots of small, weed-filled patches next to apartment buildings or behind churches and adjacent to businesses. Father Anselmo allows them to plant a small garden in place of “the dry ugly weeds” behind the church, imagining the delicious salads and steamed vegetables it will produce. This positive example is replicated throughout the barrio, developing into “The Patchwork Garden Club.” The community’s efforts pay off when, in a few weeks, the streets are decorated with greenery and flowering plants that will soon be harvested for delicious, nutritious eating. The English-over-Spanish narrative is lengthy but accessible and pleasing. Its positive message of collaboration and cooperation is enhanced by gouache paintings that cheerily depict a recognizably Latino neighborhood.
A worthwhile, eco-friendly bilingual edition. (Picture book. 5-10)