Grow Your Own Monsters

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Everyone has a sneaking fascination for weird plants that don't behave like ordinary plants. This fascinating book shows how to grow some of them and see for yourself what they do. From cucumbers that shoot seeds and cabbages that grow into walking sticks, to venus fly traps that eat insects and giant echiums that look like alien spaceships, these are plants that will amaze - and they are so easy to grow. Detailed instructions on how to sow and look after these monsters of the plant world accompany step-by-step ...
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Overview


Everyone has a sneaking fascination for weird plants that don't behave like ordinary plants. This fascinating book shows how to grow some of them and see for yourself what they do. From cucumbers that shoot seeds and cabbages that grow into walking sticks, to venus fly traps that eat insects and giant echiums that look like alien spaceships, these are plants that will amaze - and they are so easy to grow. Detailed instructions on how to sow and look after these monsters of the plant world accompany step-by-step illustrations and fabulous photos of the mature plants to inspire anyone who can't resist getting to know them better. And some of the plants can be grown on patios or window sills too.
Plants included: squirting cucumber, voodoo lily, Abyssinian banana, cardoon, walking stick cabbage, venus fly trap, pitcher plant, giant echium and lychee
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Fun and filled with unusual project ideas for plants referred to as monsters, this is not your usual science-fair book. And that's what makes it good and also what detracts from its usefulness. It is British in its terminology and spelling. The meanings of such terms as "tetrapax," "air closet," and "airing cupboard" are pretty much mysterious. Other words and instructions can be figured out, e.g., "dustbin liner," "polythene lid," and getting seeds "by post." Solid and helpful information about the growing cycle of plants and the logic of their bloom cycles is included. For example, the Voodoo Lily corm can be planted in a pot and placed on a windowsill without water where it will grow and bloom into a foul-smelling flower that will attract flies to its rotting-flesh fragrance. Colorful and comical drawings illustrate the project steps, and full-color photos of the plants, often with children, from such monsters as a Giant Echium towering over a boy to the tiny Venus Fly Trap, fill each two-page entry. Lighthearted and packed with information, the book includes a list of mostly U.K. suppliers and a brief glossary. This British focus makes it a marginal purchase.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Fun and filled with unusual project ideas for plants referred to as monsters, this is not your usual science-fair book. And that's what makes it good and also what detracts from its usefulness. It is British in its terminology and spelling. The meanings of such terms as "tetrapax," "air closet," and "airing cupboard" are pretty much mysterious. Other words and instructions can be figured out, e.g., "dustbin liner," "polythene lid," and getting seeds "by post." Solid and helpful information about the growing cycle of plants and the logic of their bloom cycles is included. For example, the Voodoo Lily corm can be planted in a pot and placed on a windowsill without water where it will grow and bloom into a foul-smelling flower that will attract flies to its rotting-flesh fragrance. Colorful and comical drawings illustrate the project steps, and full-color photos of the plants, often with children, from such monsters as a Giant Echium towering over a boy to the tiny Venus Fly Trap, fill each two-page entry. Lighthearted and packed with information, the book includes a list of mostly U.K. suppliers and a brief glossary. This British focus makes it a marginal purchase.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Kirkus Reviews

British-flavored step-by-step instructions, along with useful, sometimes humorous illustrations, encourage beginning gardeners to raise some rather bizarre plants.

The authors open with a few pages of general advice on good locations for plants, pots, choices of soil, feeding and watering, sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings and constructing a variety of mini-greenhouses from household materials. Subsequent sections cover a variety of unusual plants: squirting cucumber, voodoo lily, Abyssinian banana, cardoon, walking stick cabbage, Venus fly trap, pitcher plant, giant echium and lychee. There are close-up color photographs of the plants, and attractive cartoon illustrations demonstrate some of the key gardening techniques. Unfortunately, the text fails to mention that the squirting cucumber is poisonous and the giant echium can cause skin reactions in those that touch it, particularly troublesome since the photo in that section shows a boy grabbing it. The cardoon is considered a "noxious weed" in California; the text merely cautions that in some places, cardoon "can spread their seeds around and grow all over the place," and should not be allowed to go to seed in those areas. Additionally, the described propagation difficulties of some of these plants may discourage many. A plant source follows, including nurseries in Europe and North America, as well as a glossary.

Better plant books abound; the absence of key information in this gimmicky effort makes it an unnecessary purchase for beginning gardeners. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845078331
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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