Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots

Sharon Lovejoy
For ages 7 to 12
Workman Publishing Company, 1999   ISBN: 978-0761110569

Sharon Lovejoy considers herself to very lucky because she has had two wonderful gardens in her life. The first was her grandmother’s garden. It was here that she first discovered that a garden is a place full of wonder. Here too she learned to “greeted each day as an adventure and learned to look for and expect miracles.” Many years later, Sharon created a community garden that she shares with others and that “attracts thousands of visitors annually.” When Sharon’s son was born, she learned how to look at her garden through the eyes of a child, and now, through this book, she wants to share her knowledge and her love of gardens with children and families.

Sharon begins this gardening journey by looking at what she calls the “Top 20 plants for kids.” The plants in her list include pumpkins, sunflowers, poppies, hollyhocks, moon plants, and lemon verbena. Then she goes on to describe how to create nine “Theme Gardens” that she thinks children will enjoy creating. If you don’t have a large yard but have a patio, the Buckets, Boxes and Boots theme garden would be perfect for you. If you have more space and have always liked the idea of creating a maze, then The Flowery Maze theme garden will delight you. For each theme garden, Sharon gives gardeners a list of the things they will need, and detailed instructions on how to plant and maintain the garden they create. Then there is a “Discovery Walk” section that encourages young gardeners to explore and appreciate the garden they have created. Finally, there is an activity to try.

Sharon does not assume that her readers know how to plant and tend a garden. After the theme gardens chapters there is a chapter that is packed full of “Gardening Basics.” Here readers will find out how to prepare for planting, how to plant, how to tend their garden, and much more.

This book is a must for families who want to share the joys of gardening. With its wonderfully written and informative text, and its charming illustrations, this book is a winner.