A multiethnic group of five children plants and cares for their own neighborhood garden in a city setting.
This engaging story was inspired by a real community garden for children in Seattle. In this interpretation, the group of young gardeners includes two Asian girls, a black boy, a boy with light-brown skin, and a white boy. The kids appear to be on their own without adult supervision on this project, as they work cooperatively on a large plot of land with plentiful supplies for preparing the soil, planting seeds, watering, and weeding. The children also take time to play in the garden space and rest inside their “bean tent,” a cleverly constructed oasis of green bean vines twining around a tall structure of plant stakes. The short, evocative text effectively uses rich, imaginative language to describe the process of gardening with phrases such as “drip-drop damp” and sunflowers “rustling their leafy dresses.” Vivid illustrations in a naïve style use bright greens, sunny backgrounds, and a rainbow of flowers and produce to present the garden as a lively, welcoming environment. Anywhere Farm, by Phyllis Root and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2017), also shows children gardening in an urban setting, making a nice pairing.
This charming look at a cooperative project outdoors in fresh air and sunshine captures the appeal of gardening and may inspire children to plant some seeds of their own. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)