What's in the Garden?

What's in the Garden?

5.0 3
by Marianne Berkes, Cris Arbo

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Good food doesn't begin on a store shelf with a box. It comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine, moisture, birds, and bees! Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where they come from. So what's in the garden? Kids will find a variety fruits and vegetables, and a tasty, kid-friendly recipe for each one to start


Good food doesn't begin on a store shelf with a box. It comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine, moisture, birds, and bees! Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where they come from. So what's in the garden? Kids will find a variety fruits and vegetables, and a tasty, kid-friendly recipe for each one to start a lifetime of good eating. A "food for thought" section presents interesting facts about each fruit and vegetable, and a "how does your garden grow?" section explains facts about gardening and the parts of plants.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Rhythmic poetry gives one-page clues that answer the title question. "It's round. It's tiny. It grows on a bush./When made into sauce, it turns to a mush./This fabulous fruit can be used as a dye,/And is really yummy in muffins and pie." The fresh fruits and vegetables revealed by turning the page are celebrated in vibrant full-color illustrations. Birds and insects also populate these gardens-a slug on celery leaves, a ladybug alighting on a tomato stem in pursuit of aphids, and a crow circling corn plants. Very, very close-up, realistic illustrations show children thoroughly enjoying the garden's bounty-saliva drips onto an apple being crunched, lettuce sticks out of an African American boy's teeth, broccoli drenched in dip fills the mouth of an Asian American boy. There's a recipe for each fruit or vegetable-e.g., garlic mashed potatoes, blueberry pie, and ants on a log. Less-than-precise editing mars some of the recipes, e.g., four cups of peeled potatoes probably should be four potatoes; roasting pumpkin seeds is a lot messier than the recipe lets on, as is creating a lattice top on the blueberry pie. Better editing would also have caught the missing apostrophe in the carrot poem. Four pages for adults are filled with ideas for using the book with children.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Berkes' latest is a departure from many children's gardening books, combining rhyming verses with recipes celebrating the garden's bounty. Rectos present readers with a rhyming challenge to name what is growing, providing textual clues as well as gorgeously detailed and realistic illustrations, which often feature the flowers, insect pollinators and at least the beginnings of the fruit or vegetable. "It grows on a vine with skin that is green. / It's sliced in a salad; it's long and it's lean. / But sometimes it's shorter with soft little prickles / And placed in a jar for real tasty pickles." (Deathless poetry this is not.) Versos show close-ups of a child enjoying or preparing a dish featuring that fruit/vegetable, the recipe at the bottom of the page--sweet-and-sour cucumber salad in this case. From the popular ants on a log to the more daring French onion soup, breakfast-y carrot muffins to a dessert of blueberry pie, young chefs are likely to get a wide introduction to both the products of the garden and the culinary arts. The recipes include thumbnail pictures next to the ingredients, and the steps are well-written. Two recipes specify that children should ask for adult help, and closing notes reinforce this, but there is no prominent, introductory note to underscore cooking safety. While the children are sometimes oddly proportioned, they do represent a nice mix of races and cultural backgrounds. A celebration of growing and eating that is just in time for spring planting. (facts about the featured foods, how seeds start, what plants need, plant parts, glossary of cooking terms, list of garden songs, books and websites) (Informational picture book/recipe book. 3-8)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This fresh take on fresh foods from the garden uses rhyme to describe eleven common fruits or vegetables and provides easy-to-prepare recipes for each. Bold, realistic illustrations depict the growing fruits or vegetables, as well as youngsters preparing or enjoying the recipes provided. Apples, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, blueberries, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, corn, and pumpkins are described in terms that encourage young readers to explore the foods and where they come from. Simple recipes allow elementary-aged readers the opportunity to create their own healthy dishes. A "Food for Thought" feature at the end of the book relates some history and nutritional facts about the subject matter. A "How Does Your Garden Grow?" feature discusses what plants need to grow, identifies plant parts, and addresses what each contributes to the final product. The book is designed to get kids interested in growing and eating healthy foods. A list of cooking terms and resources on growing, preparing, and eating healthy foods are included. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.

Product Details

Dawn Publications
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.30(d)
AD710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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What's in the Garden? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Literary_Classics_Reviews More than 1 year ago
What's in the Garden? written by Marianne Berkes, and illustrated by Cris Arbo is a wonderful book in rhyme which talks about many healthful and delicious foods that come from the ground. With each turn of the page, kids will discover interesting facts about treasures from the garden, along with fun and simple ways to prepare them. As the book continues, readers will discover even more intriguing tidbits of information about fruits and vegetables, including the parts of a plant and how they grow. Illustrations by Cris Arbo are incredibly detailed and expressive, and are a perfect complement to this book which fosters a love for eating healthful foods while providing a highly educational resource. This book is highly recommended for both home and school libraries.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Oh, wait a minute, that’s a flower garden. We don’t eat silver bells, cockleshells, and pretty maids all in a row. But we do eat apples, celery, tomatoes, and pumpkins. Author Marianne Berkes, who has written several other books for Dawn Publications such as Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef and Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, tells kids about twelve different fruits and vegetables which can be grown in and around a garden. Did you know that lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable in the United States? The potato is number one. And wouldn’t you love to be chomping into an ear of fresh sweet corn on the cob like the boy on the cover? I surely would! At each opening, there is a rhyming riddle that provides clues to help the reader guess what fruit or vegetable is under consideration. Then when the page is turned, there is the name of the fruit or vegetable, with a picture, drawn by illustrator Cris Arbo, and a kid-friendly recipe for using it. So What’s in the Garden? not only provides a lot of helpful scientific material but also serves as an introductory cookbook for students. The back of the book has further information about the fruits and vegetables mentioned, how to grow a garden, plant parts, and cooking. Many more free teaching and learning ideas are available at the publisher’s website. Children should know that good food begins not with a box on a store shelf but from a garden, and this book will help them understand how that happens.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
What's in the Garden is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author and; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.