Publishers WeeklyMost children know that domestic seeds are sown and cultivated by farmers, but how do wild plants grow and spread? In lighthearted prose punctuated with sound effects ("Per-chik-o-ree! Per-chik-o-ree!" cries a goldfinch) and enlivened with typographic curves and swoops, Galbraith (Arbor Day Square) explains that seeds from wild plants float in the wind, snap off plants, fall in the rain, and get carried—intentionally or unintentionally—by animals to new places where they sprout and thrive. "A family of raccoons feasts on blackberries.... When they amble home again, bits of berries and seeds go with them. Next spring, new prickly canes will pop up everywhere." Halperin's (My Father Is Taller Than a Tree) spreads are divided into contiguous panels tinted in the lightest of watercolors, with delicate pencil shading that conveys the force of wind and rain alike. Small natural dramas are writ large as she shows plants and seeds in tender closeups, the small panels complementing sweeping landscapes watered with rain, sparkling with stars, or glowing in the sunset—sometimes all at once. It's a thoroughly handsome book, suffused with calm. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Lisa CzirrIn a traditional garden, people methodically plant seeds to determine where the vegetation will grow, but this process is far less structured in nature. This book provides information about nature’s seed dispersal in an accurate and engaging way. Forces such as wind and rain help scatter seeds, but that is only one part of the story. Seeds are also helped along by animals, from birds to fish to land-bound creatures. There is a lot to look at on each page, with smaller boxes depicting the motion of seeds being carried away from plants to their new life in the ground. The seeds and plants are drawn realistically enough that students could potentially identify them. Names of various plants are also given throughout. The text on each page often moves around playfully in waves, and different sound or motion words are highlighted as well. The writing is overall entertaining and instructive. The book concludes with a reminder that humans are also part of the natural world, as we too play a role in the spreading of seeds in the wild. Reviewer: Lisa Czirr; Ages 5 to 8.
School Library JournalGr 2–4—No one "plants" a wild garden, but this attractive book, with its simple, often lyrical text and watercolors full of motion, shows how wild seeds make it in an unplanned world. A flock of goldfinches "bobbles" among the thistle-heads, a fox-chased rabbit scatters cockleburs as she flees, and a child blows on a dandelion—all dispersing seeds across the landscape. Galbraith's gentle words remind readers that wind, water, birds, animals, and people plant the wild meadow—"All of us. Together"—while Halperin's soft watercolors in pastel shades of peach and lavender, tan and green show young wonderers how it all happens. A shade more identification of some seeds (or their development stages) would be helpful, but, from the elegant seed-full endpapers to the carefully selected font, this is a lovely introduction to the modes of seed dispersal evolved by some common meadow plants.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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Planting the Wild Garden based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I love picture books for children. They are wonderful teaching tools and the opportunity they afford the child and parent to interact is tremendously rewarding to both the child and the adult. When you hold this lovely, large picture book you are immediately captivated by the illustrations reminiscent of an earlier gentler time when the illustrations of children's books were lovely, soft, gentle, and fine tuned. The beautiful watercolor and pen illustrations by Wendy Anderson Halperin are all these. Richly illustrating plants and seeds along side of the lovely critters in the wild. A picture book is about words as well as pictures. The finely crafted text and story line that Kathryn O. Galbraith uses to tell in a simple yet powerful way the wonderful seeding of the world around us in nature by nature. Seeds exploding. Wind blowing seeds. Animals transferring seeds. It is all there. A well-crafted science lesson for the young child just beginning to grasp knowledge of the world around him. A good combination - author Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrator Wendy Anderson Halperin. It is not a surprise that the book they developed won a Growing Good Kids Book Award and a 2010 Parents' Choice Approved Award. I recommend this book for libraries wherever children hunt for delectable books to read. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Planting the Wild Garden was provided to me by Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was provided for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.