WHO IS IN THE GARDEN? by Vera Rosenberry


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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Rosenberry's three recent books (Vera Runs Away, 2000, etc.) about an irrepressible little girl named Vera have an undeniable charm with a unique main character, believable illustrations, and strong plot lines. Unfortunately, Vera isn't present in this latest offering, replaced by a nameless little boy who lacks Vera's spunk, and in fact, lacks much personality at all. The boy tours his backyard garden, observing and describing ordinary animals and insects camouflaged in their own particular environments. On the last double-page spread (and on the cover), the boy himself is camouflaged in a pole tent of green bean vines, providing a mildly surprising answer to the question posed in the title. The uninspired text plods through the garden on flat feet, alternating between straightforward descriptions of the garden inhabitants and rather confusing second-person commands to continue exploring in different ways. Rosenberry plays with unusual perspectives in her illustrations, which result in the boy sometimes looking two feet tall and two years old. Her watercolors of flora and fauna are pretty, but the little boy's age, facial features, and hair are not uniform throughout the book. The boy also looks rather bored, an effect that is likely to be shared by children listening to this story. Wait for Vera's next adventure. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1529-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2001


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