In My Mother's Garden

In My Mother's Garden

by Melissa Madenski, Sandra Speidel

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Rosie, her Mom, and their elderly friend Joe are all avid gardeners, so what would be a better springtime birthday gift for Mom than a surprise garden of pansies, her favorite flower. With the help of Joe and a lot of work, the surprise garden is a lovely success. The warm relationship between Rosie and her Mom and Rosie and Joe add to the appeal of this quiet story. The soft, pastel illustrations reflect the beauty of springtime and a love of gardening and nature.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-An adult neighbor friend, Joe, helps young Rosie prepare a pansy garden as a birthday surprise for her mother. Together they shop for the plants and dig the bed in an out-of-the-way spot. All that remains is to keep the secret until the special day arrives. The lengthy text is faithful to the voice of the child narrator with the exception of a few minor lapses, e.g., ``Flower stalks from last year's plants look like marching soldiers with stiff arms and legs.'' It bubbles over with her excitement in keeping her first big secret and her delight in finally being able to lead mom to the flower patch. Speidel's full-page impressionistic illustrations, done in pastels, are vibrant with springtime colors. They are filled with little moments that make this story so touching: Rosie's tender expression when she views her little garden, her struggles to keep her secret, and, finally, her exuberant pansy dance. Eve Bunting's much simpler Flower Garden (Harcourt, 1994) is a similar tale, and the two can be used together for a birthday theme.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
Hazel Rochman
Rosie plans a birthday surprise for her mother: "I'm going to build her a little garden of pansies, her favorite flowers." With the help of an elderly neighbor, Rosie plans the garden, chooses plants in the nursery, clears the ground, and watches the flowers grow--until in the early birthday morning, she shows her mother the gift she's nurtured. As in her illustrations for Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson's "My Mama Sings" (1994), Speidel's warm, impressionistic illustrations express the emotional bond between single-parent mother and child and their joyful activity together. It was her mother that made Rosie a gardener and taught her to make this loving gift. Even if most kids won't manage things quite as smoothly and competently as Rosie, they'll recognize the joy of hugging a secret to yourself and of imagining and making the present that's just right for someone you love.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
10.29(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.32(d)

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