A celebration of gardening and the harvest doesn’t quite deliver a full-grown story.
Evy is so preoccupied by gardening that she fails to notice a series of absurd, seasonally linked oddities taking place around her. A bevy of farm animals participates in these happenings, which include cows parading down the street in fancy hats that seem like Easter bonnets, donkeys sailing through the sky in sailboats, pigs dancing around a maypole, and chickens, rabbits and pigs playing badminton. Evy doesn’t notice any of these things going on around her, and the repeated parenthetical phrase “(What was Evy doing?)” prompts readers to find her performing various gardening tasks from page to page. Ultimately, two wordless spreads show readers that Evy was preparing a big harvest feast, with what looks like a pumpkin pie as the main dish, but this culmination feels anticlimactic due to the lack of concluding text as well as the revealing title and cover art. A final page shows Evy looking ahead to next year’s planting and harvesting season. While certainly silly, the picture book’s appeal is undermined by its lack of cohesion, and the comical watercolor-and-ink illustrations don’t add enough narrative content to bolster the repetitive text.
Other, stronger picture books on this theme abound. (recipes, pumpkin facts) (Picture book. 2-4)