Cecil's Garden

Cecil's Garden

by Holly Keller
     
 

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Jake carried the hoe. Posey brought the watering can. And Cecil held the seeds. It was time to plant the garden. But then the trouble started. No one could agree on what to plant, and soon it was too hot to work. Sadly, Cecil went off to visit the neighbors.

Sometimes all it takes is a little time away from your family to see that you are really pretty lucky.

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Overview

Jake carried the hoe. Posey brought the watering can. And Cecil held the seeds. It was time to plant the garden. But then the trouble started. No one could agree on what to plant, and soon it was too hot to work. Sadly, Cecil went off to visit the neighbors.

Sometimes all it takes is a little time away from your family to see that you are really pretty lucky. When Cecil went home, he knew how to solve the garden problem. And when harvest time came, there was no disagreement at all!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
The grass isn't always greener, family-wise, Cecil the rabbit discovers. Frustrated that he and his two siblings can't agree on what to plant in their garden, he visits other animal families and realizes that things could be worse. Whenever the Mouse family wants to take a bath, for instance, they fill up the bathtub with so many toys that the mice themselves cannot fit; they can't agree on which ones to throw out and dump out the water instead. "We all fit. But we don't get very clean," grouses one of the mice to Cecil. Inspired by this and another negative example of a mole family that can't agree on when to wake up, Cecil returns to his home and figures out how his family can plant the garden and reap its bounty so "There is nothing to quarrel about and we don't have to waste another minute." Keller's (Horace; Brave Horace) ink-and-watercolor illustrations possess a sophisticated color sensibility even as they play up the implicit comedy in the situations. Her narrative underscores a universal message of how things can grind to a halt when the argument itself becomes more important than what's being fought over. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Cecil the rabbit sets out to plant a garden with his family. But no one can agree on which five seed choices to make from six options. So they argue until Cecil decides to cool off by visiting the mice family. They are arguing about which toys to leave out of their overcrowded saucepan bathtub and the pan's run dry. A stop at the moles' house shows they're quarreling about the time because it's too dark to see the clock and no one knows whether to get up or not. With echoes of the Three Sillies folk stories, Cecil, convinced that he is now happy and optimistic, returns home to resolve the disagreement by digging a bigger garden, planting it all, and at the end of the summer planning a celebration. But the moles can't come because they can't find the time, and the mice are too dirty. This gentle story reminds readers that quarreling never gets anything done, and avoiding problems doesn't make them go away. Keller's black-outlined, brightly painted animals and settings humorously mirror the action and feature a pleasing variety of page design, making this a good read-aloud to small groups. 2002, Greenwillow,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-K-Cecil cannot wait until he is able to plant a garden with Jake and Posey. It's a perfect day to begin-until the three rabbit friends arrive at the plot. Then the arguments start. There is only room for five vegetables and they have six packets of seeds. Which one should go? Or, which two should be planted together? Instead of solving the problem, the three argue. Soon, it's too hot to work and they go home. Disappointed at the day's events, Cecil decides to visit his mice and mole pals, but finds each group embroiled in its own arguments with no one willing to compromise. After witnessing their disagreements, Cecil decides to take control of the gardening situation and comes up with the perfect solution. At harvest time the rabbit friends enjoy bountiful produce. As for the argumentative mice and moles-unable to compromise, they miss out on a savory garden stew. The full- and half-page watercolor pictures add life to the characters and story and clearly demonstrate why Cecil's solution works so well.-Karen Scott, Valley Intermediate School, Pelham, AL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
All it takes is listening to someone else's foolish arguing to put your own such behavior into perspective. Such is the story here in this tale of Cecil the young rabbit and his siblings Posey and Jake. They wake to a perfect day to plant their garden. All goes well until they realize they have only enough room for five rows of vegetables, but they have seeds for six different varieties. Which to leave out? They fail to reach a consensus; they can't even choose two with which they can plant half a row each. The sun gets too hot and they abandon the garden idea for the moment. Cecil is disappointed and he shuffles off to visit some friends. And what does he discover? The mice fighting over which toys to put in their bathtub-they have to throw out the water since there isn't any room left. And the moles fighting over what time it is, but since they are underground, and can't tell time to boot, they are condemned to argue on and on. By the time Cecil gets home, he has devised a simple solution: make the garden one row bigger. Keller's (Growing Like Me, p. 187, etc.) story is light on its feet-much like her artwork, with its fine lines and colors of spring-as if to suggest that by allowing a little oxygen to circulate around most problems, an answer can be found. And at this level, she's right. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060295936
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.35(w) x 8.33(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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