Kirkus Reviews QR Code
I HEARD IT FROM ALICE ZUCCHINI by Juanita Havill

I HEARD IT FROM ALICE ZUCCHINI

Poems About the Garden

By Juanita Havill (Author) , Christine Davenier (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8118-3962-1
Publisher: Chronicle

Twenty poems celebrate the denizens of the garden through day, night and all sorts of weather. The strongest poems scan well, with disciplined rhyme and insightful metaphors. “Garden Lullaby” gently explores the moonlit garden, sotto voce: “Sweet dreams, little peas, ten to a pod. / Good night, radishes, tucked under sod. / Gone are the bees and butterflies.” Less successful are erratically rhyming poems such as “The Pumpkin’s Revenge”—“The ugly pumpkin, so heckled and shamed, / defied the fairy deadline and remained / a one-of-a-kind carriage in gilded frame. / You can see him today in a Paris museum.” Davenier deftly commands her medium, layering transparent, luminous watercolor. The best compositions liberally employ black line to contour leaves, pods and worms, and the endpapers, contrasting the garden in summer and winter, truly sparkle. A childlike fairy, never referenced in the poems, appears prominently in every illustration, and the correspondence between poem and illustration is at times lacking. Uneven, but not without its bright charms. (Poetry. 6-10)