of the Center for
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.|
Garden Books: Linnea's Other Friends
selected by Deborah Stevenson
It's been a mild winter here, so already birds are singing, bulbs are bulbing, and the gardening urge is setting in. It's easy enough to head to the proper point in the Deweys and pull out the Carol Lerner and Jerome Wexler to fulfill those hortico-literary urges, but more narrative approaches to gardening have their own appeal. Here's a bed of little beauties, mostly picturebooks for a group planting effect but with a few specimen novels as well; plant them and enjoy them, no weeding required.
--Deborah Stevenson, Associate Editor
- Bauer, Joan. Squashed. Delacorte, 1992. Gr. 7-10.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie is content with her vegetable love (she's trying to grow The Biggest Pumpkin in the State of Iowa), but she's also taking a shine to the new boy in school in this hilarious novel. (BCCB 10/92)
- Cole, Henry. Jack's Garden; written and illus. by Henry Cole. Greenwillow, 1995. 3-7 yrs.
A text using the cumulative format of "The House that Jack Built" describes the garden Jack grows while u-close views of the garden flora and fauna (compete with labels) provide a pragmatic counterpoint. (BCCB 5/95)
- DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne. City Green; written and illus. by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. Morrow, 1994. 4-8 yrs.
A neighborhood rallies to turn a vacant lot into a community garden project in this paean to neighborhood pride and cooperation. (BCCB 9/94)
- Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs; written and illus. by Lisa Campbell Ernst. Bradbury, 1991. 4-7 yrs.
Miss Penny has been growing prize-winning vegetables for forty-eight years, and her envious neighbor Mr. Grubb has had enough of it; plump figures and gentle washes of color keep this tale of sabotage light and amusing. (BCCB 4/91)
- Fleischman, Paul. Weslandia; illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Candlewick, 1999. Gr. 2-4.
In this gardening fantasia, young Wesley grows a crop of otherworldly flora and builds a whole culture around it; Hawkes' solidly saturated acrylics make the imaginary into believable and concrete reality. (BCCB 7/99)
- Hughes, Monica. A Handful of Seeds; illus. by Luis Garay. Orchard, 1996. 5-8 yrs.
Instead of turning to theft, as her urban cohorts suggest, displaced Concepcion turns to gardening in the barrio to support herself. (BCCB 6/96)
- Lobel, Anita. Alison's Zinnia; written and illus. by Anita Lobel. Greenwillow, 1990. 4-6 yrs.
There's some serious but accessible horticulture in this unusual alphabet book, which features lush oversized botanical portraits as flowers make the rounds ("Alison acquired an Amaryllis for Beryl..."). (BCCB 10/90)
- Muller, Gerda. The Garden in the City; written and illus. by Gerda Muller. Dutton, 1992. Gr. 2-4.
This fresh and detailed account describes the evolution of a backyard into
a flower garden and a vegetable garden under the loving hands of a
decicated brother and sister; an enticing collection of diagrams, spot
art, and delicately detailed illustrations make the proceedings browsable as well as informative. (BCCB 3/92)
- Perkins, Lynne Rae. Home Lovely; written and illus. by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, 1995. 5-8 yrs.
In an impulse driven out of boredom and loneliness and then carried by pure love of gardening, Tiffany develops a lush garden with the help of a friendly mailman. (BCCB 9/95)
- Primavera, Elise. Plantpet; written and illus. by Elise Primavera. Putnam, 1994. 5-8 yrs.
A step beyond the Chia Pet is Plantpet, a friendly (though silent) ambulatory half-critter, half vegetable, which helps Bertie in his gardening labors; the green and furry Plantpet is an appealing creation that will charm young viewers. (BCCB 9/94)
- Quattlebaum, Mary. Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns; illus. by Melodye Rosales. Delacorte, 1994. Gr. 4-7.
Jackson is floored when he receives a plot in a community garden instead of a longed-for basketball for his birthday, but he attempts to turn it into a bed of roses nonetheless--with some humorous results. (BCCB 4/94)
- Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener; illus. by David Small. Farrar, 1997. 6-10 yrs.
The story's a familiar one by now, but city-dweller Lydia's project of rooftop floral development retains its tender yet hardy beauty. (BCCB 10/97)
- Thomas, Elizabeth. Green Beans; illus. by Vicki Jo Redenbaugh. Carolrhoda, 1992. 4-7 yrs.
Starchy Gramma commands everything, even granddaughter Dorothea, but she can't command her listless beans into growth until some benign neglect sends them into hypergrowth; Redenbaugh's colored-pencil illustration soften and gently caricature Gramma and her family. (BCCB 2/93)
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