An abandoned garden is the setting for joyful play by an array of small creatures.
Prose poems, set on or next to doodly, delicate drawings, introduce this garden’s inhabitants, whose activities will appeal to young readers and listeners. Ladybug, barefoot, whistles with a blade of grass; Horsefly pretends he has flashing hooves and a streaming tail; Cricket, the great explorer, swings on a gate. Bee just wants to watch the clouds. Together with Butterfly, Dragonfly, Big and Little Ant, and Snail, they gather to watch the explosion of flowers blooming. Later, Lightning Bug leads a game of follow-the-leader. The scribbly pen-and-pencil illustrations, finished with watercolor, reveal amusing detail. After rolling all the way down the path, Roly-Poly unrolls and waves his many legs. At night, Lightning Bug watches over his friends—but Butterfly has one eye open, too. These engaging, childlike illustrations vary in size and placement on the page; double-page spreads invite particular attention. Moser introduces some unusual vocabulary but keeps most of her text simple and playful. Cricket and Big Ant seek the best way to reach a peach: at the “top of the hop” or “bottom of the drop”? The reveal comes on the next page: “KER PLOP!” Earthworm’s poem has a wormlike curve. With plentiful dialogue, these short scenes will be fun to read aloud.
Whimsical and delightful, a celebration of imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)