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Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard
     

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard

5.0 1
by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, Priscilla Lamont (Illustrator)
 

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Perfect for spring planting season—an outstanding book about backyard science the whole family will appreciate.

Alice's family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eat the plants, and what birds and animals come to eat the insects.  It's the food

Overview

Perfect for spring planting season—an outstanding book about backyard science the whole family will appreciate.

Alice's family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eat the plants, and what birds and animals come to eat the insects.  It's the food chain, right in her own backyard!

While Alice's narrative is simple and engaging, science concepts are presented in more depth in sidebars by a pair of very knowledgeable (and highly amusing) chickens! Noted science writer Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld knows how to layer information to make it accessible to a wide range of readers and useful for educators. And illustrator Priscilla Lamont's funny, friendly paintings make this a garden everyone will want to explore.

Kids will eat up this wonderful book of backyard science—and perhaps they'll even be inspired to eat their vegetables!

"A wonderfully informative and enjoyable journey through one family’s backyard garden, from spring planting to fall harvest. . . . this is bound to spark some backyard explorations." —Kirkus, Starred Review

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Gardens green and growing—both author and illustrator have been inspired by special ones. Zoehfeld remembers her mother's carrots, sweet peas, and tomatoes, while Lamont's garden in England's Kent produces spinach, apples, and plums. Their collaboration blossoms, too, as young Alice (named perhaps after Alice Waters, creator of the "Edible Schoolyard") works with her family to plant seeds in spring, water them, and watch them sprout. Each member has his or her own plot; Alice plants zucchini, radishes, and carrots. As the season progresses, two feisty and very well-informed hens explain to readers the intricacies of food chains they can see in their own gardens. Lamont's gorgeous watercolors bring to life the luscious vegetables, predators like hawks, and prey like mice (the cat, Honey, is especially fond of them). Bugs are of interest, too, as ladybugs, spiders, caterpillars, and potato bugs are investigated and pictured by Lamont (earthworms, too). Summer brings harvests and a flurry of canning tomatoes, pickling beans, and freezing corn for the winter, when the family plans next year's garden (strawberries? pumpkins?) in their snug wooden farmhouse. Especially appealing are a page that follows an underground earthworm tunnel with winding words, the garden's food web charted by the chickens, and lovely endpapers showing a painted plan of house, yard, and garden plots, where plants, animals, and humans come together to make their own teeming ecosystem. Presented with imagination, humor, and love by two talented artists, these garden secrets will work their magic in the classroom, for a family, or as a very special gift for a young gardener. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
From the Publisher
Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 1, 2012:
“The book will raise readers’ awareness of backyard food chains and encourage some students to try gardening themselves.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2011:
"Zoehfeld’s latest is a wonderfully informative and enjoyable journey through one family’s backyard garden, from spring planting to fall harvest. Covering a dazzling array of topics, the author still manages to hold onto a story line that will draw readers in and allow them to experience both the good and the bad right along with narrator Alice. Sure to become a standard go-to for elementary teachers and gardeners alike, this is bound to spark some backyard explorations."

Booklist, March 15, 2012:
"A natural for young gardeners, this picture book is also an appealing addition to classroom units on food chains."

Publishers Weekly, January 9, 2012:
"Filled with humorous, cozy, and informative details. This intimate portrait of a single garden points to how all ecosystems are connected."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517709917
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN WEIDNER ZOEHFELD was a children's book editor for more than 10 years before becoming a full-time writer. She has published more than 60 books for children, most about animals and natural history.

PRISCILLA LAMONT has illustrated dozens of books, including the Animal Rescue Team books by Sue Stauffacher, and Goose and Duck by Jean Craighead George. Whether drawing human or animal characters, Priscilla always likes to include some humor.

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Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I teach science and am in charge of the school garden. So this book kills 2 birds with one stone.