Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The youngsters have gathered to loosen the soil and do some planting. The seeds are different sizes and shapes, but the kids don't know what will sprout up, because it is a surprise garden. The seeds are sown, watered and soon peas, beans and squash start appearing. All summer long the garden provides a variety of vegetables and even a delicious watermelon or two. Halpern's bright, bold collage illustrations are just right for this backyard garden party. Kids will probably want a surprise garden of their own after enjoying this delightful book.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1Three children are given various seeds for a surprise garden. They plant them, and mark each seed's place with a different color stick. They water and wait, andvoila!in due time, there is a beautiful garden full of peas, beans, squash, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, watermelon, and a sunflower. The colorful collages are pleasing and lively. The last page identifies all of the seeds. The problem with this pretty book is that its readers and listeners are in danger of believing that this could really happen. This is a fantasy garden, complete with a bunny who takes only a small bite of lettuce. Seeds of every kind sprout and grow into lush plants, and everything from carrots to watermelon is perfectly spaced. The dust jacket expresses hope that this book "will encourage children to grow surprise gardens of their very own." If it were used as the beginning of a realistic conversation, it would be fun to read.Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME