Gardening has always been a passion of mine, since I was very small. Some of my earliest memories are gardening with my gram, planting seeds and watching them grow. So now that I have my own petites who just so happen to love gardening (thank goodness) every spring becomes this incredibly magical time where we talk more and more about the seeds, garden planning, the science, healthy food, ecosystems and so much more. So we’ve been reading an absolute ton of books about gardens both fiction as well as non-fiction in preparation for spring and our planting.
For this first installment of Gardening with Petites, we are sharing The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City by Carole Lexa Schaefer illustrated by Pierr Morgan (Little Bigfoot, 2017) which is hitting shelves on Tuesday! This is a story that is very much a homegrown story all about a children’s garden that is an actual garden here in Seattle. If you don’t happen to live in a larger city a community garden may be a new concept, I know that I was unaware of just what a pea patch or community garden was until I moved to Seattle. The premise is that community members come together to grow food and then can share or donate the extra food that they grow.
This is a story all about the joy, learning, respect, community, responsibility and teamwork. This book tells the story of children from the neighborhood who ride their bikes, pull their wagons and walk with their friends in tow to their community garden. This is their garden, they are allowed to listen, see, smell, touch and taste – because it is all theirs.
This story teaches all about what the children learn from the garden, the important role that worms play in this important ecosystem that allows their seeds to grow. The illustrations are fantastic in that they depict the diversity of the children coming to their community garden. The vibrant illustrations are chock-full of birds, insects, and the lush colors of summer. This book depicts exactly what you would envision a community garden would look like; with raised beds using mixed materials and assorted pots and children everywhere planting and harvesting all that their hard work has produced.
There are so many elements of this book that I, as a mom, teacher and gardener find valuable – the lessons that are taught are so important (they are also taught in a very subtle way), your petite will be inspired to get out and grow things, maybe even try some new foods they have been reticent to try before, they will learn new responsibilities and that through hard work and patience that there is a reward.
What my petites loved about reading this book is that we are currently planting seeds and planning our garden and they loved seeing other kids planting their gardens. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, you will have to read it a few times to catch all of the tiny details that Pierr Morgan has included, the tiny snails or quail chicks. This book inspires, empowers, excites, and fosters pride! Reading The Children’s Garden along with a trip to your local garden center will ensure that your petite has a summer filled with gardening fun.
Bloggers Note: This book was given to me by Little Bigfoot in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own. Thank you to Little Bigfoot for permission to use images from The Children’s Garden in this post.