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While the gardens in her suburban community look like "rainbows of flowers," and "the wind always smelled sweet," the unnamed narrator is disappointed with her family's Chinese vegetable garden. All she sees are "lumpy," "icky yellow," and "thin and green" vegetables, and she wonders why her family doesn't grow flowers instead. Her mother patiently reassures her that the ugly vegetables are better than flowers, telling her to "wait and see." As the plants grow and finally produce vegetables, readers experience vicariously the simple pleasures of gardening. The simply told first-person text is well matched with the lively, color-saturated paintings. With slightly distorted, flattened perspectives and rounded, comforting shapes, Lin's style borders on the naïve with a fresh folklike quality. Each page bristles with movement enhanced by pattern: swirls of blue in the sky; variegated brown and green hues of the trees; imaginative designs on fabric; even the washes of background color on which many of the paintings are set are lightly decorated with such motifs as vine, seed, leaf, or flower shapes, adding energy to the design and the illustrations. Most readers will identify with the narrator's feeling of mild discontent about her family's differences, and some will be introduced to another culture and cuisine. After the vegetables have been harvested, there's a new scent in the air: ugly vegetable soup, which, the young girl says, "seemed to dance in my mouth and laugh all the way down to my stomach." A final page features a glossary/pronunciation guide for the vegetables' names in Chinese as well as a soup recipe. Grace Lin's debut picture book serves up the savory delights of the harvest in a satisfying story. k.f.