Busy in the Garden

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Amazing Snakes! is the fifth title in an award?winning series of I Can Read Books that features photographs from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), one of the world's most esteemed wildlife conservation organizations. The exceptional writing and design of the I Can Read Books?paired with WCS's global research and conservation efforts, educational programs, and stunning color photographs?make this a standout series for children, caregivers, and teachers!

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Overview

Amazing Snakes! is the fifth title in an award–winning series of I Can Read Books that features photographs from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), one of the world's most esteemed wildlife conservation organizations. The exceptional writing and design of the I Can Read Books–paired with WCS's global research and conservation efforts, educational programs, and stunning color photographs–make this a standout series for children, caregivers, and teachers!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Babies and toddlers are notoriously "busy." In this absolutely delightful collection of poems the little ones are invited, encouraged, even exhorted to set about planting seeds, pulling weeds, and reaping the results of their efforts. "Zucchini" is one of my favorites as it addresses the plight of zucchini growers everywhere—too much of the green stuff. Beginning with "zucchini / meeny / miney / moe" and ending with "zucchini hash and succotash. / Zucchini / meeny / miney / MOAN," this one is the perfect description of the zucchini gardener's overabundant crop. The charming illustrations show plants in all of their stages of development from seed to flower to fruit as an integrated part of the pictures of the darling children who cavort about the garden. One of the poems is a little riddle about the parts of a plant that people eat; "sister ate the seeds and tossed the rest" is the line about eating peas. Reading this book will result in lots of discussions about the parts of plants that are consumed and would pair well with the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. Grab your own garden basket and pack it with these twenty four poems for a "garden of delight"—guaranteed. You'll love the one about how to grow Jack O'Lanterns—plant a candle with every pumpkin seed! The cute-o-meter goes to the top on this one but do not overlook the many teachable moments captured in this celebration of all things "garden." Wrap this up with a "bunch of seeds" and give it as a wonderful gift of spring. 2006, Greenwillow/HarperCollins, and Ages 3 up.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Twenty-four snappy poems revolve around the growing season. All are short; most are no more than four lines. Some are "punny"-"Would You Carrot All to Dance?" Others are riddles, such as "A Riddle Picnic." "Papa ate the root/and tossed the leaves./Mama ate the leaves/and said `Mine's best!'/Brother ate the stem/and found no seeds./Sister ate the seeds/and tossed the rest." (Answers: carrot, spinach, celery, peas) Children will like the quick pace and the lilting rhythm. The jokes and puns will be better understood by adults, but young readers will grow into the humor. The watercolor illustrations will definitely appeal to the very young. Simple sketches are planted in the white space in and around the poems, uniting the text and art. Large paintings fill a few pages and give contrast to the smaller sketches. These seasonal poems can be shared one-on-one, read in storytimes, or alone. Selected single poems will fit especially well into garden-themed units.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Shannon and Williams produce a joyful celebration of gardening, vegetables and silliness. Each page or spread features one poem about planting, harvesting or eating the crop. Some are direct: "To grow the size / that wins a prize, / it's always wise / to fertilize." Some are playful and silly: "Zucchini" begins with "Zucchini / meeny / miney / moe" and progresses through so many zucchini delicacies that it ends with "Zucchini / meeny / miney / MOAN." Consider this riddle: "Mama planted summer hats. / Papa planted thread. / Sister planted ink stamps. / Brother planted bread." The answer, printed upside down, is "straw, cotton, potato, wheat." The rhythms scan satisfyingly. Cheerful, airy pictures in watercolor and black line show vegetables of all sizes (sometimes growing or harvested, sometimes dancing!) and small children reminiscent of A Hole Is to Dig. Get ready to reap some new young gardeners who will relish their veggies. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060004644
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

George Shannon is a popular storyteller and former children's librarian whose many notable picture books include Tomorrow's Alphabet, Lizard's Guest, and White Is for Blueberry. Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!, illustrated by Laura Dronzek, was named a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book. George Shannon lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Sam Williams has written, illustrated, and produced numerous books for children, including Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck by Lisa Westberg Peters. The artist lives with his wife in Hertfordshire, England.

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