Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Water, Weed, and Wait

Water, Weed, and Wait

Edith Hope Fine, Angela Demos Halpin
Illustrator:  Colleen Madden 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Tricycle Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-1582463209

The children in class 9 at Pepper Lane Elementary have been growing plants in their classroom. When Miss Marigold, the garden lady, comes to visit, the children explain that their plants need “a home.” The children don’t have a garden of their own, but there is some unused land next to grumpy Mr. Barkley’s yard. Though the ground is hard, full of weeds, and there is litter all over the place, the children see that Mr. Barkley’s garden is beautiful. If he can do it, why can’t they?

When there is a big job to do, sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Miss Marigold explains that school gardens need “plans, plants, and people.” Then, once things are planted, all you need to do is to “water, weed, and wait.”

The children put up posters asking for volunteers to help them get their garden plot cleaned up, and that Saturday the work begins. Everyone is amazed when Mr. Barkley joins the workers. He is a very good gardener and his help is much appreciated, even if he is a little on the grumpy side.

This excellent picture book will show children that it is not that hard to create a school garden. All you need is the help of volunteers, some tools, plants or seeds, sun, and water. Then you have to “water, weed, and wait” for the fruits of your labors to grow.

An engaging story and colorful and atmospheric illustrations perfectly compliment the informational elements in the book.

At the back of the book, the author includes further information about how to create a school garden. Among other things, there is a list of internet resources, and a checklist.