Behold Our Magical Garden: ­Poems Fresh from a School Garden

Candlewick. Mar. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536204551.
Gr 1-5–A school garden flourishes with the help of enthusiastic students in this idyllic poetry collection. The poems begin with a group of students planning and dreaming up a garden, and then soon seeing it to fruition. Each poem then covers a different aspect of the garden throughout the school year, showing the garden at different seasons and different points of the plants’ lifespans. The final poem features the garden in winter, with the mantra “gardens come and go” and the garden barren and covered in snow. The poems vary in style, stanza, and rhyme scheme, and the text is whimsical. For the most part, the rhymes have a natural flow and cadence, many lending themselves well to read-alouds. Several of the poems contain informative tidbits related to gardening, including facts about plants, vegetables, and spices, as well as about insects and birds. The artwork is detailed, featuring soft lines and colors, and the characters are diverse, with cartoonlike designs. The back matter provides brief notes on each poem that teach readers about rhyme scheme, stanza, poem types, and personification. Unfortunately, the back matter doesn’t follow up with more information on gardening itself, leaving readers to guess which parts of the more fanciful poems are fact and which parts are fiction. Despite this, the book remains an enjoyable read, and one that will likely inspire young readers to grow their own gardens.
VERDICT A charming collection of poetry for budding gardeners. Recommended.

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