Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

A small boy singlehandedly turns a drab town into a beautiful colourful garden. This is a new book which has received rave reviews. The illustrations are crisp without being sharp and the words are simple and honest. It's an amazing book to describe the power of nature and how the choices we make can shape our environment.

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson

This book is 65 years old and is interesting not only because it has stood the test of time, but also because it makes us more aware of shifting attitudes. The little boy who plants and waters his seed does so in the face of the dismissive ignorance of his family and friends, but we are now living in a world with a vegetable garden in the grounds of The Whitehouse and it would be hard to find a parent who wouldn't encourage growing a carrots. Meanwhile the book still encourages children to want to grow something, especially if it proves those fictional grown-ups were wrong.

Jack's Garden by Henry Cole

The text is based on the nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built" and describes the way that a garden is planted an grows. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The book is also what we call a "whatthatthere" book, named after what my some used to say when he found something he couldn't identify in a picture book. Intricate labeled drawings of tools, plants, bugs and flowers make this a book to linger over.

The Happy Bee by Ian Beck

This very colourful book for the babies is very simply a close up look at some well known types of flowers, Daisy, Poppy, Rose and Lily. The bee flies from one to another in all kinds of weather and is happiest when there is a rainbow. Extremely simple and continually popular.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves - by Julia Rawlinson

Fletcher is a fox, who takes life a little too seriously. He has a favourite tree which as the weather gets colder is starting to lose its leaves. Fletcher is distraught and wants to help the tree keep hold of its leaves, of course he doesn't succeed, but he does learn something about the changes in the seasons. This is a beautifully poetic book and the illustrations are soft and colourful. I understand that there will be a Fletcher for all seasons, we already have Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms and eagerly await the next installment.

We will be singing "Mr Sun", "I can sing a Rainbow" and I'll be looking through a Ted Hughes for children collection for a good growing things poem.

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