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In this hilarious story told ingeniously through letters, Jerdine Nolen and David Catrow team up to show that when there's enough love, even the most unlikely character can become part of a family.
Author Biography: JERDINE NOLEN is the author of Raising Dragons , illustrated by Elise Primavera, which won the Christopher Award and was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. Her Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm was a made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame network movie, which is currently available on video. She lives in Maryland.
David Catrow has illustrated many books for children, including Cinderella Skeleton by Robert San Souci and The Emperor's Old Clothes by Kathryn Lasky, which was a New York Times Best Book of the Year. He lives in Ohio.
In a series of letters a boy, his science teacher, and his parents discuss the progress of a very unusual, sometimes frightening, plant that becomes more human as the summer progresses.
"A terrific story about caring and friendship."--The MetroWest Daily News
"Witty and clever . . . delightfully quirky."--The Horn Book Guide
Posted May 28, 2013
I homeschool my children, ages 4 and 9, and I found this book online while researching plant science for our home studies. I read that it was great for interesting kids in how plants grow and that it was funny. I also loved the colorful illustrations on the cover and the title was catchy. Well, there is wisdom in the saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover". The story is presented in the form of letters between a student, his mother, and his teacher after a class plant, Plantzilla, is placed in the boy's care for the summer. Some of the letters are written in cursive, making it slightly difficult to read through for my daughter who is just learning cursive. The illustrations were a bit busy for my preschooler and I had to point out things in the pictures for her, when usually she is quite observant and can point things out to me. My girls sat quietly as we read it together, but not once did they laugh or giggle or even crack a smile. They were uninterested in the plot, except for the part where the plant seemingly ate the family dog. The illustrations showed the puppy still running around though the story said that he was missing and so that part confused us a little. After the first read, my children have not requested it to be read a second time. My older girl thumbed through the pages quickly and then placed it back on the shelf. We were disappointed in this book and overall I would say that the author tried to be funny without really succeeding and that the illustrations were bright and fun, but a little busy for my taste. Definitely a book for slightly older children, at least third grade. Oh, and there was nothing in the book about how plants grow. There may have been a line or two about the plant needing water and sunlight, and that it preferred to eat meat. If I would have read this book before ordering it, I would have known to borrow it from the library instead. This book is collecting dust and will most likely be donated in the near future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.