Friday, June 14, 2013

What's in the Garden? by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Cris Arbo

What could be better than the bounties of a summer garden, whether it is from your own backyard garden or fresh fruits and veg from the farmer's market?   OK, I know, that's the grownup who loves vegetables in me talking, but what about kids?

I know from experience with my own Kiddo that it is often hard to get kids to eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables.  But now, there is an engaging book for parents and kids to share and it is all about gardens full of tempting fruits and vegetables.  And it is a fun book, too.  Each fruit or vegetable is presented with a short, four line rhyme on one page that shows what it looks like in the garden.  Before turning the page, kids get to guess which veg the rhyme is about.

On the next page, is the answer and a simple, child friendly recipe them to make, with parental guidance, of course.

For example:

Can you get what the vegetable is? You can click to enlarge.
At the end of the book are four pages full of more information about gardens and and fruits and vegetables along with online resources.  Food for Thought has lots of interesting facts about the fruits and vegetables included in this book and kids can even learn facts about gardening and the different parts of a plant.

Each page is illustrated with a lovely, realistic painting, so well done, you can sense the wonderful smells of a garden - the soil, the air, the veg.  It makes my mouth water just looking at all the illustrations.  On the rhyme page, not only is the fruit or vegetable shown, but there is a common garden animal or bird included, adding to the richness of the book and a potential learning moment about these lovely, sometimes pesty creatures.  And best of all, and this really really pleased me in this oh-so-kid friendly book was the diverse cross section of kids that the artist, Cris Arbo, included.

Even if you don't have a garden, or even if you just have a window box full of herbs, like I do, this is a wonderful book to share with the kids in your life.  And be sure to take the kids to the farmer's market after going over the book for more good talk about fruits and veg as you purchase the ingredients for trying the recipes that are included.

Do you get it right?  You can click to enlarge
This book is recommended for kids age 4+
This book was purchased for my personal library

This is book 5 of my 2012 Nonfiction Picture Book Reading  Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. This sounds like it would be a fun book to read aloud to my children because of the rhymes and the element of guessing the vegetables name.

    Visiting from the KIDLIT BLOG HOP.

  2. I love the sound of this especially with a toddler who will not touch anything green to eat. LOL Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  3. Great book! My kids love gardening with me - thank goodness. My parent's garden was about a quarter acre and each of the kids had their own little plot to grow whatever we wanted. Thus began my love of gardening. I go out every day to see the progress of our veggies/fruit and I'm so excited especially when we can pick the first peas! Yum! Thanks for sharing this book in the Kid Lit Blog Hop! :)


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