by Karl Beckstrand
This book was a delightful surprise. Based on the cover art and the pitch I was expecting a nice, informative how to on proper gardening technique for kids. You know the type, simple directions, maybe a diagram of a sprouting bean, talks about nutrition. Instead, I opened the book and fell into a poem stitched together from old Norman Rockwell counting books, calendars published by a seed company a century and a half ago, and a second grade reader from the mid 1970s'.
This is a book about joy, about living your life and taking the most pleasure you can out of the simple things you find. the art is more stylized than is common in modern picture books like this, harkening back several decades. There is something a little surreal about the root vegetables especially. Either they don't belong in our world, or more likely, we don't belong in theirs.
The writing is poetry that bleeds into, not prose, but the common work-a-day lists that we use to keep our lives together, and the disjointed connections we make when we are trying to do our chores as quickly as possible. It leaves its flavor in your mind.
As an adult it is hard to judge these children's' books sometimes. I do know that I would gladly read this book to my child.
Disclaimer. I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.