Mrs. Spitzer's Garden (Gift Edition)

( 11 )

Overview

Mrs. Spitzer is a wise teacher who knows many things. She knows about gardens. She knows about children. She knows how similar they are. And how they will flourish if tended lovingly.
              
There are many remarkable teachers like Mrs. Spitzer in the world. Available for the first time in an ...

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Overview

Mrs. Spitzer is a wise teacher who knows many things. She knows about gardens. She knows about children. She knows how similar they are. And how they will flourish if tended lovingly.
              
There are many remarkable teachers like Mrs. Spitzer in the world. Available for the first time in an intimate gift edition, here is a book to celebrate all that they do, year after year, to help our children grow and blossom.

With her sure, loving, gardener's touch, Mrs. Spitzer nurtures the students in her classroom each year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I love this book! Every teacher in the universe should have a copy."—Bestselling author Mem Fox
 
"A very loving book, a tribute really, to the teachers of the world and beyond them to all people who nurture children."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Mem Fox
I love this book! Every teacher in the universe should have a copy.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At the end of each summer, the principal of Tremont Elementary School "walks down the hall to Mrs. Spitzer's room and gives her a packet of seeds." The cheerily appointed classroom (stocked with a gerbil, a rug with real hopscotch squares and a "dress-up corner") seems to augur a run-of-the-mill kindergarten tale, but Pattou (Hero's Song) soon launches her story into the realm of metaphor. Mrs. Spitzer's "seeds" are duly planted and tenderly nurtured, and while some "grow quickly, pushing upward, eager, impatient," others "grow more slowly, unfolding themselves bit by bit." As the seasons progress, the little plants grow sturdier, until finally the school year comes to a close and Mrs. Spitzer's job is done. Pattou relates her parable in straightforward yet gentle prose, leaving the whimsy to Tusa's (Maebelle's Suitcase) pen-and-watercolor illustrations. Giving the flowers eager little faces and different personalities, she amplifies the theme so that even youngest readers will understand the true identity of Mrs. Spitzer's "plants." Whether outlining the happy clutter of classroom and garden or the flowers themselves, Tusa's artwork is almost infectiously merry. Paying visual homage to typical kindergarten art, this sweet story will shore up beginning students' expectations of classroom life. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Mrs. Spitzer knows what seeds need to grow and flourish and that different plants require different care. The wise teacher also knows how to make the "seeds" in her classroom grow, to cultivate them until it is time for them to move on, and then accept her new "packet of seeds" from her principal in the new school year. Some children may not get the parallel at first, but with the help of Tusa's light-hearted ink and watercolor drawings of anthropomorphic flowers and pumpkins marching off on spindly legs, the visual metaphor should soon become evident. Double-page scenes are bright with the paper's whiteness behind the fantasy of frogs with head kerchiefs and flowers with smiling faces, all tended lovingly by their engaged overseer. Not only should this book delight youngsters, it should surely warm the heart of any teacher. Buy a copy for your favorite! 2001, Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Mrs. Spitzer, a teacher, spends her days tending her flowers. Cheerful cartoon scenes follow her progress as the principal gives her a packet of seeds at the end of summer, and she takes up her garden tools to tend the soil, plant and water the seeds, fend off pests and weeds, and happily watch the progress of the sprouts. "Some of the plants grow quickly, pushing upward, eager, impatient.-Some are silvery and quiet, the color of the earth." Birds, bugs, and plants are personified with faces, hats, and kerchiefs. Congenial Mrs. Spitzer works energetically through the seasons-though there is no winter-and at the end of the year hangs her hat on her wheelbarrow and puts away her calendar and plan book to wait for the new school year. The closing view of the classroom includes children's artwork depicting the flowers, animals, and pumpkins. The garden is intended as a metaphor for the classroom; the carefully tended plants represent Mrs. Spitzer's students. It's hard to say who will recognize the analogy. Children of an age to identify with the kindergarten-style classroom are apt to see this literally as a garden story. Some will recognize that the seasonal scheme is backward. Some teachers may use the euphemistic scheme to introduce the idea of symbolism, but most kids this age prefer their lessons to be a bit more grounded in reality.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A very loving book, a tribute really, to the teachers of the world and beyond them to all people who nurture children. "At the end of the summer, Mr. Merrick, the principal, walks down the hall to Mrs. Spitzer's room and gives her a packet of seeds." The end of summer? wonders the alert reader. Well yes, for this is a metaphorical garden, and as Mrs. Spitzer plants, water, weeds, and tends each seedling, she delights in their individuality: tall and thin, bushy and wide-spreading, quick to grow or slow, showy or reticent. Tusa picks up the metaphor with characteristic ingenuity and charm, depicting a gray-haired but young-looking woman, comfortably dressed, leaving a well-stocked kindergarten classroom to tend a swelling garden of flowers and vegetables, each sporting eyes, a smiling mouth, and a look of eager interest. Ultimately the season comes to a close, but the plants keep on growing, now beyond the care of Mrs. Spitzer. Pattou's language is simple but artful, keeping mawkishness at bay, while conveying a deep appreciation of the fine art of teaching. Lucky the reader, of any age, who had a Mrs. Spitzer. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152058029
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Edition description: Gift Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 56,288
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

EDITH PATTOU  is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy novels East, Fire Arrow, and Hero's Song. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

TRICIA TUSA has illustrated many books for young readers, including The End of the Beginning by Avi, The Magic Hat by Mem Fox, and her own Maebelle's Suitcase, Camilla's New Hairdo, and Bunnies in My Head. She lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Mrs. Spitzer's Garden

    This book was a gift for my son's third grade teacher. She said it was precious. I too am a teacher and thought it voiced the sentiments of teaching with sweet pictures to illustrate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    From seed to harvest its a treat!

    This is a great story about a teacher who grows a garden of students. Each school year she is handed a packet of seeds (students)from the principal and begins planning for their growth. Mrs. Spitzer sees that each seedling/plant gets the attention it needs. She notes the differences in the plants and tends to their individual needs as any good teacher would do. I love this book so much that I buy it for every student teacher that works with me in my classroom. It is a great story with beautiful illustrations sure to touch the heart of anyone who teaches or cares for children.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Sweet and perfect. A great teacher gift.

    This is a story about a teacher who helps her students grow like a garden. At the end of the year, she sends them on their way and prepares for new "seeds" and a new garden.
    We purchased this book for my son's Kindergarten teacher, had each of the children in the class sign it and gave it as an end of the year gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    A Great End of Year Teacher Gift!

    After a co-worker read this book to our class at preschool, I had to come here to buy a copy for my son's kindergarten teacher! She is just as wonderful as the teacher in this book, and I hope she recognizes herself when she reads it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    Delightful and Charming

    A very engaging picture book story. It depicits what all good teachers do. That is, to 'tend' to their classroom of children and watch them grow.

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    Posted January 30, 2010

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    Posted December 31, 2009

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