Children's LiteratureMany surprises are in the garden from April to October in this rhyming story situated in a journal format. From entry to entry the story's perspective jumps in a variety of directions, starting with the girl and her grandfather beginning the spring garden. The next scene is a spring evening with the garden creatures attending a nightclub where finding fireflies and a dragonfly so early in the year was a surprise. As the entries continue there is a hint that the girl and her grandfather planted some pumpkin seeds but the reader is left not knowing what happens to the seedling after it sprouts. Instead, the dated entries discuss other garden events: the girl tackles the dandelions, the apple core decomposes in the compost pile, the ladybugs have an afternoon tea with aphid fricassee, and cousin Al probably decides never to eat another melon seed. Each entry's creatures and rhyme are fun, but the story seems to be separated into many fragments through spring, summer and fall. 2006, Mitten Press/Ann Arbor Media Group, Ages 5 to 9.
Carrie Hane Hung