WATER, WEED AND WAIT by Edith Hope Fine

WATER, WEED AND WAIT

Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

Miss Marigold, the breezy “garden lady” at Pepper Lane Elementary, suggests turning a littered patch of hard-pan into a school garden. Between the kick-off cleanup day and a harvest party, there’s plenty of mercurial industry, as volunteers frame raised beds and truck in rich soil. Mr. Barkley, a curmudgeonly neighbor with a brilliant garden, gradually warms to and aids the children’s efforts. The authors (retired and practicing teachers, respectively) draw from experiences with school gardens. Miss Marigold introduces such resources as beneficial insect release (“Meet my good guys for the garden”) and worm bins, and the double-spread aftermatter includes a few websites, a checklist for beginning a school garden and a border of charming photographs. However, Madden’s mixed-media pictures are a disappointing pastiche of dizzyingly varied perspectives and rubbery cartoon caricatures. While some spreads successfully present scenes of cooperative activity in kid-appealing ways, the overarching visual sense is frenetic yet oddly superficial: There’s little behind those grins and cross-eyes. Smart teachers will find the hook and perhaps harvest the exuberance for their own school gardens. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58246-320-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tricycle
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2010




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