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MRS. SPITZER’S GARDEN by Edith Pattou Kirkus Star


by Edith Pattou & illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-201978-2
Publisher: Harcourt

A very loving book, a tribute really, to the teachers of the world and beyond them to all people who nurture children. “At the end of the summer, Mr. Merrick, the principal, walks down the hall to Mrs. Spitzer’s room and gives her a packet of seeds.” The end of summer? wonders the alert reader. Well yes, for this is a metaphorical garden, and as Mrs. Spitzer plants, water, weeds, and tends each seedling, she delights in their individuality: tall and thin, bushy and wide-spreading, quick to grow or slow, showy or reticent. Tusa picks up the metaphor with characteristic ingenuity and charm, depicting a gray-haired but young-looking woman, comfortably dressed, leaving a well-stocked kindergarten classroom to tend a swelling garden of flowers and vegetables, each sporting eyes, a smiling mouth, and a look of eager interest. Ultimately the season comes to a close, but the plants keep on growing, now beyond the care of Mrs. Spitzer. Pattou’s language is simple but artful, keeping mawkishness at bay, while conveying a deep appreciation of the fine art of teaching. Lucky the reader, of any age, who had a Mrs. Spitzer. (Picture book. 5-7)