How Does Your Garden Grow? (Toot and Puddle Series)

Overview

While Toot is away, Puddle decides to plant a vegetable garden. He enlists Opal’s help and together they plant tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers—all the right ingredients for a salad. They gather supplies in a big wheelbarrow, they measure out their garden and dig out rows. They rake the soil, add fertilizer, and plant seeds all afternoon. Then impatient Opal learns all the important lessons of growing a garden: she learns that plants need to be watered; that gardens need to be weeded; that sometimes troublesome ...
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Overview

While Toot is away, Puddle decides to plant a vegetable garden. He enlists Opal’s help and together they plant tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers—all the right ingredients for a salad. They gather supplies in a big wheelbarrow, they measure out their garden and dig out rows. They rake the soil, add fertilizer, and plant seeds all afternoon. Then impatient Opal learns all the important lessons of growing a garden: she learns that plants need to be watered; that gardens need to be weeded; that sometimes troublesome squirrels need to be given nuts to keep them away from the seeds. And the most important lesson of all—she learns that gardens don’t grow overnight. All good things need to be cared for, protected, and given time to grow.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gwynne Spencer
I never knew Holly Hobbie was a real person until I read this little picture book and then went to the website (www.nationalgeographic.com/tootandpuddle) to see what else is tied to the story. Having never actually seen an episode of this show on Nickelodeon, perhaps this reviewer is at a serious deficit. Evidently, the two pigs go on adventures worldwide (hence the National Geographic connection), and, in this episode, Toot is heading off to Mexico, which leaves Puddle and Opal (another piggy) to plant the garden. With alarming alacrity, they head off to the already prepared garden (no work required?). Compost in the pink pail is spread directly on the garden (first hint this is a fantasy about gardening). A worm is greeted and thanked for its service. Then the piggies plant cucumbers. Meanwhile, back in Mexico, Toot is looking for a plant to bring home for the garden that is legal. Meanwhile, back in the garden, all the plants get eaten by the critters. They try a wind chime to scare away the predators to no avail. Then they build a pirate scarecrow and the plants miraculously come back (second clue this is really a garden-based fantasy; in my world, you have to replant from scratch). Those plants grow incredibly fast, and there are no weeds. The predators do not come back, and the cucumbers turn into cabbages and tomatoes. The pigs do not even get their knees dirty. (Clues number three, four, five and six that this is not a true garden story.) Toot returns with a jicama (I wonder how he got that through TSA and customs?) and the two gardeners show off the garden, give him a tomato, and all agree "that planting a garden was lots of fun." Now, maybe I'm being a bit overcritical, butthis sterile synthetic view of gardening seems intended to lead kids to think that gardening and growing your own food is easy and dirt-free and that you can grow anything anywhere (I am not sure how hardy jicama is or even where the piggies live for that matter). The other lesson that seems implicit is that while Toot can go tooting off to Mexico (no map, no discussion of Mexico as a grower's paradise), his gardening duties will be happily fulfilled by his left-behind friends. Maybe in Holly Hobbie's world this sort of thing happens, but not in the real gardening world. At the website, readers will find a Friendship Garden Game and Tour the World Game, Printables (party masks, origami, memory match up, music makers, travel diary), Videos (ten of them), and of course an authentic virtual shopping experience for more Toot and Puddle books. As a postscript, on the back of the book (which is paperback) under the picture of Opal and Puddle under their pirate scarecrow it says, "A boomerang flies but always returns home where it belongs," which further irritated me as a piece of irrelevant and incorrect information that kind of says as much as I want to say about this book. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426304828
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Series: Toot and Puddle Series
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 627,465
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: 590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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