Thursday, May 17, 2007

Flower Garden

by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Voyager Books Harcourt, Inc., 1994.
This is a lovely book for spring time to read with young children and those just starting to read independently. It is a beautifully illustrated picture book telling the story of a young girl and her father planting a window box garden for her mother's birthday. They live in the city and take the bus home from the grocery store carrying the box filled with flowering plants and supplies. People on the bus smile at them and you can just feel the excitement the young girl is enjoying. She carries the heavy box all the way up the apartment stairs and they spread everything out on newspapers on the floor to assemble the garden. Once it's in the window she contemplates the perspectives from looking out the window high above the street, finding friendly ladybugs among the flowers, to "walkers down below (who) lift their heads and see purple, yellow, red and white; a color jamboree." The story ends with a surprised and delighted mother, a birthday cake and the family snuggled in an embrace looking out the window at the sun setting over their flower garden.

The text is written large and there are plenty of context clues for early readers to use with a predictable, engaging vocabulary. There is a rhythm to the phrasing with plenty of repetition and just the right amount of rhyme. The family is warm and loving and living in a friendly, clean, beautiful city neighborhood. They are African American and their ethnicity adds to the beauty of the story but doesn't define it. I find this book to be a charming celebration and I highly recommend it.

Find other books like this on LibraryThing.


art-sweet said...

This is one of my all time favorites! Thanks for reminding me of it.

Anonymous said...

We have had this book forever. I love it.