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PLANTING THE WILD GARDEN by Kathryn O. Galbraith


by Kathryn O. Galbraith & illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56145-563-8
Publisher: Peachtree

In this softly colored, richly detailed cogitation, Galbraith and Halperin explore the many ways seeds are transported and sown in nature. While in the first spread a “farmer and her boy” plant a tilled plot suggestive of springtime, ensuing pages primarily hone in on summer, as wind, rain, birds, the sun’s heat, fish in a stream and woodland mammals play supporting roles as scatterers. People help too: “Seeds travel on muddy boots. / Hitchhike on sweaters. Snag on socks. / And whoosh! Sail on a puff of breath.” Halperin divides double spreads, bordered in pale pink and dusty lavender, into scores of squares and rectangles, each holding a watercolor-and-pencil treasure—from barbed and winged seeds in flight, to a raccoon family’s moonlit blackberry feast. She generates a bit of drama in three spreads that follow a fox stalking a rabbit. Therein, a small quibble: While the text, focusing on the fox, reads “Seeds catch on her thick coat. / They hook onto her white-tipped tail and— / JUMP! / —fly off everywhere!”—the illustration shows the fox in the background and the fleeing rabbit as the one knocking the seeds about. There’s plenty to pore over and savor; this title would germinate nicely in primary classrooms and sow curiosity in one-on-one sharing. (bibliography) (Picture book. 4-8)