Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Grandpa's Garden

Grandpa's Garden

Stella Fry
Illustrator:  Sheila Moxley 
Picture Book
for ages 5 to 8
Barefoot Books, 2012   ISBN: 978-1846860539

Though the “days are still short and the light is sharp like lemon juice,” Billy and his grandfather are in the vegetable patch. Billy thinks that everything is dead because the soil is cold and hard, but Grandpa shows him that a lot is happening under the surface. Worms and insects are busily breaking up the earth, and Billy and Grandpa decide to help them. Next Billy and Grandpa feed the soil with fresh compost.

After waiting for a while (which is hard to do), it is warm enough for Billy and Grandpa to start planting. Carefully they rake the soil smooth, and then they plant the little seeds and the sprouting potatoes. Billy eagerly waits for the little plants to break through the soil. He is impatient, and Grandpa has to remind him that “Good things take time.”

Then, “as if by magic,” spring arrives and the plants start to grow, sending little shoots up through the earth towards the sun.

For children, watching plants grow from seed is a special gift from nature. There is something miraculous about the way in which a bean plant grows from a tiny seed into a plant that is covered with beans that we can eat. In this book, a beautifully written text is paired with warm paintings to give children a memorable picture of a garden year.

At the back of the book the author provides her readers with supplementary information about how to plant and care for a garden, and what to do in the garden in spring, summer, winter, and fall.