Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Garden

My Garden written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
(Greenwillow Books) 2010
Source: Orange County Library

I have a garden in my backyard.  I bought a bag of wildflower seeds and tossed them out in a 7' x 7' tilled space last May. I had blooming flowers until November. The best thing about it was I had no idea what was going to come up since I threw the bag away after dispersing the seeds. I have found gardening to be great therapy after a day at school.

Gardening is also a terrific subject for a new Kevin Henkes book. In My Garden, a young girl enjoys helping her mother, but can't help dreaming of what she would have in her own garden. For example, you could plant jelly beans and grow a jelly bean bush. Glowing strawberries and beach ball sized tomatoes are also part of her garden. If Willy Wonka had a garden, this might be it.

As with previous Henkes books, the illustrations are wonderful and the insights into a child's mind are spot on. It would be a fun writing assignment to imagine what would be in our gardens. I'm hoping some of the jellybeans on the bush are popcorn flavored! You could also compare My Garden with an early scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the children first step into the work area and see the chocolate river and edible grass.

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