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I Heard It from Alice Zucchini: Poems About the Garden
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I Heard It from Alice Zucchini: Poems About the Garden

by Juanita Havill (Text by), Christine Davenier (Illustrator)
 

From the still chill of a winter night to the ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta-too of a lively vegetable stew, these twenty whimsical poems celebrate the joys of a garden from start to finish. A tour de force of imagination, I Heard It from Alice Zucchini invites you to join in the Pea Pod Chant, wander through the Rhubarb Forest, dance with the Dainty

Overview

From the still chill of a winter night to the ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta-too of a lively vegetable stew, these twenty whimsical poems celebrate the joys of a garden from start to finish. A tour de force of imagination, I Heard It from Alice Zucchini invites you to join in the Pea Pod Chant, wander through the Rhubarb Forest, dance with the Dainty Doily Dill Weed, gossip with Alice Zucchini, and hold your breath on the pumpkin's enchanted evening. Illustrated with magical paintings, here is a book that will delight gardeners of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A bountiful harvest of lyrical poems that expresses delight in the world of nature. It is hard to resist singing such selections as "Dainty Doily Dill Weed": "Dainty Doily Dill Weed/dances in the breeze,/waving yellow blossoms,/calling to the peas." The poems are easily committed to memory due to their flawless rhythms and storytelling narratives. In "Nursery Rhyme," the "King of the Beetles" and his queen, both "wearing armor of golden green," will lose their home when the Rhubarb "forest is baked in a pie." In another poem, a sweet but short marriage is arranged between a bee and Sweet Cicely, who laments, "'...I flower in May,/in June, go away./How could we have enough time?'" Havill knows how to craft a lullaby, a lyric to be sung, and a rhyme that begs chanting. Well suited to the charm of the verse, Davenier's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations transport readers to the ground level of the garden alongside mice, snails, crickets, and a busy young fairy. The book's arrangement reflects the cyclical movement from season to season. A table of contents offers 20 poems ripe for the picking from this first-choice book." - School Library Journal, starred review

"A bountiful harvest of lyrical poems that expresses delight in the world of nature...Havill knows how to craft a lullaby, a lyric to be sung, and a rhyme that begs chanting. Well suited to the charm of the verse, Davenier's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations transport readers to the ground level of the garden alongside mice, snails, crickets, and a busy young fairy." -School Library Journal, starred review

"Davenier deftly commands her medium, layering transparent, luminous watercolor...the best compositions truly sparkle." -Kirkus Reviews

"Fine choices for springtime poetry units, these selections offer excellent opportunities for studying sound, imagery, and poetry's range from quiet reflections to boisterous chants throughout the year." -Booklist

Children's Literature
This charming picture book highlights the "life" of a garden, from the conception of the garden to the harvest of the last vegetable buried in the ground. With the narrator as guide, the reader is led through a variety of free verse and occasionally rhymed poems that fill in the story of a garden and its inhabitants. Cucumbers, pumpkins, and pea pods all get their shot at poetic fame. And relationships, like the one between Sweet Cicely and the bee, are examined. Gossip, too, becomes fodder for one poem as neighborhood busybody Alice Zucchini shares the lowdown on Max Bean, Ms. Spinach, Sam Melon, and Jill Celery. While some of the poems are very short, others, like "Sweet Cicely and the Bee" and "The Pumpkin's Revenge" (based on Cinderella), tell mini-stories of friendship and retribution, yet do so in a way that will entertain. The pictures, delightful watercolors in bright pastels, add to the whimsical feel of the poems. Young readers will certainly enjoy this fun and fanciful text. 2006, Chronicle Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-A bountiful harvest of lyrical poems that expresses delight in the world of nature. It is hard to resist singing such selections as "Dainty Doily Dill Weed": "Dainty Doily Dill Weed/dances in the breeze,/waving yellow blossoms,/calling to the peas." The poems are easily committed to memory due to their flawless rhythms and storytelling narratives. In "Nursery Rhyme," the "King of the Beetles" and his queen, both "wearing armor of golden green," will lose their home when the Rhubarb "forest is baked in a pie." In another poem, a sweet but short marriage is arranged between a bee and Sweet Cicely, who laments, "`-I flower in May,/in June, go away./How could we have enough time?'" Havill knows how to craft a lullaby, a lyric to be sung, and a rhyme that begs chanting. Well suited to the charm of the verse, Davenier's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations transport readers to the ground level of the garden alongside mice, snails, crickets, and a busy young fairy. The book's arrangement reflects the cyclical movement from season to season. A table of contents offers 20 poems ripe for the picking from this first-choice book.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twenty poems celebrate the denizens of the garden through day, night and all sorts of weather. The strongest poems scan well, with disciplined rhyme and insightful metaphors. "Garden Lullaby" gently explores the moonlit garden, sotto voce: "Sweet dreams, little peas, ten to a pod. / Good night, radishes, tucked under sod. / Gone are the bees and butterflies." Less successful are erratically rhyming poems such as "The Pumpkin's Revenge"-"The ugly pumpkin, so heckled and shamed, / defied the fairy deadline and remained / a one-of-a-kind carriage in gilded frame. / You can see him today in a Paris museum." Davenier deftly commands her medium, layering transparent, luminous watercolor. The best compositions liberally employ black line to contour leaves, pods and worms, and the endpapers, contrasting the garden in summer and winter, truly sparkle. A childlike fairy, never referenced in the poems, appears prominently in every illustration, and the correspondence between poem and illustration is at times lacking. Uneven, but not without its bright charms. (Poetry. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811839624
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
02/23/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.87(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
1 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Juanita Havill is the author of more than thirty books for children and young people, including Jamaica's Find , which won her the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. The mother of two grown children, Juanita lives with her husband in Arizona. An avid garde

As a young girl, Christine Davenier spent many hours painting with her grandmother in the garden. She now lives with her daughter in France. Other books illustrated by Christine Davenier include The Other Dog by Madeleine L'Engle, I Love the Rain by Marga

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