Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Planting the Wild Garden

Planting the Wild Garden

Kathryn O. Gilbraith
Illustrator:   Wendy Anderson Halperin 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Peachtree Publishers, 2011   ISBN: 978-1561455638

The farmer and her son are planting seeds in their garden, thinking of the pumpkins, peas, carrots, and cabbages that they will be able to harvest in the weeks and months to come. They deliberately plant the seeds in the earth, but not far away other forces are planting seeds as well.

In the “wild meadow garden,” the winds blow seeds from trees and plants, dispersing them “out across the fields.” Rain knocks seeds to the ground as raindrops patter against trees and plants, and the water washes “seeds to new places in the meadow.”

There are also birds and animals that gather seeds to eat and that deposit them in their droppings. Gold finches eat thistle seeds, raccoons eat blackberries, and fish in the stream eat seeds that are floating on the surface of the water.

Birds and animals also knock seeds to the ground as they walk or hop in the fields. They pick up prickly cockleburs and other seeds in their fur and on their feathers and carry them off. Even humans pick up seeds as they walk through wild places. The seeds “travel on muddy boots,” and “Hitchhike on sweaters.”

In this lovely picture book, the author and illustrator show to great effect how Nature has her own way of planting seeds in wild places. With beautifully detailed illustrations and an often lyrical text, this is a book that will help children to better understand the natural world around them.