A delight for the eye and the heart, from two picture-book newcomers. Marisol watches with interest as grown-ups from her neighborhood descend on a junk-filled empty lot and transform it into a community garden. She wants to grow something, too, but all the plots are taken so she plants her one seed (taken from some being fed to pigeons) in a crack in the sidewalk on the edge of ""The Garden of Happiness."" The sunflower that finally blossoms is a surprise to all, but it does not last and Marisol is almost inconsolable. Then there is a new surprise--artists have painted sunflowers into their mural on an old brick wall. Novelist Tamar (The Junkyard Dog, 1995, etc.) conveys a passion for the city in her first picture book; the text is lengthy, but the pacing of short and long passages works very well. Lambase's accomplished art makes the book soar; recalling the work of Vera Williams, with thematic borders, a vivid palette, and audacious perspectives, these oil paintings point toward a fresh new talent.