The Garden

By Booklist

This level 2 beginning reader features a multiethnic group of children with varying skin tones and hair types learning about urban community gardening. Three brief chapters are titled “Helping,” “Planting,” and “Growing.” Lily, newly moved to the area, misses the garden ata her previous home. Her mother suggests they visit a local garden, where they see a neighbor. Mr. Sam gratefully accepts Lily’s offer of help and encourages her to bring friends. Watercolor illustrations altered digitally add further details about the characters to the simple text. Some of the children are more enthusiastic than others, but eventually the group of four agree to join Lily. Step by step, the friends learn the process of planting and caring for fruits and vegetables, including the patience needed as they wait for their plants to develop. Luckily, their garden is a success, and the bounty of vegetables make them excited for next year. The story is a cheerful introduction to gardening and eating a healthy diet. Instructions are included for readers to grow their own snap peas.

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