Kirkus Reviews QR Code
COUNTING IN THE GARDEN by Emily Hruby

COUNTING IN THE GARDEN

By Emily Hruby (Author) , Patrick Hruby (Illustrator)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-9344-2970-9
Publisher: Ammo

An intriguing slant on the garden, from roots below the earth to the insect inhabitants above the ground.

This green-thumbed gardener, with wooden limbs, red-circled cheeks and angular nose, counts how his garden grows, from one to 12. After a new group of items is enumerated (thistles, earthworms and sunflowers included), the following double-page spread displays its impact on the spacious outdoors. There's charm in the disproportionate perspective; the onion towers over the individual while he peers down, dwarfing the turnips growing below. Retro geometric shapes enhance the angled beauty. The quiet text benefits from spare descriptions. “Six sweet strawberries, hanging from vines // Seven slippery snails, with different colored shells.” By alternating between counting text and wordless spreads, the book allows for moments of calm transition. Gardeners will grouse at the indiscriminate inclusion of items regardless of season (tomatoes and tulips?), but there's no denying the striking visual impact.

A concept fully ripe for the harvest. (Board book. 18 mos.)