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by Suzanne Bloom & illustrated by Suzanne Bloom

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59078-529-4
Publisher: Boyds Mills

Getting dirty has never been so much fun.

Creative preschoolers (and one toddling babe) explore the garden's rich, natural wonders. Each youngster concocts an inventive mix of dirt and grub, not for his or her own consumption but for the critters flying and hopping nearby. With gleeful abandon, the gardeners throw themselves into their activity, while the youngest participant cautiously observes until he serves colorful leaves for his stuffed friends' tea party. A question-and-response format encourages further discovery. “Dylan made a dirt dessert from roots and twigs / and chunks and clumps and dandelions. / Will he eat it? // Oh no, no, no. / He made it for the wiggly worms.” Worn out from their morning play, the kids enjoy their own picnic from unseen Nana (“sticky bits, / crunchy munchies, pink drinks” included), and a well-deserved snooze soon follows. Page turns both maintain the pacing and call for participation. Watercolors focus on outdoor scenes dominated by appropriately earthy tones, and the children's unique physical styles (from a wide-brimmed straw hat to a smattering of messy pigtails) shine.

Give two green thumbs up for the joy of mud pies everywhere. (Picture book. 2-5)