40. Planting the Wild Garden
by Kathryn O. Galbraith
illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin
children's book, 2011
Last year I was delighted to be offered a Kathryn O. Galbraith children's book to review in my letters. I loved the book and writing about it was a pleasure for me. Well, this year in February I received an unexpected birthday email. The same publicist offered me a copy of Galbraith's latest book for children called Planting the Wild Garden. And today [I originally wrote and posted this on Thursday, May 12] I read it, sitting outside under the lilac tree on a perfect spring day.
The book begins with a mother and son planting a vegetable garden.
This is the kind of garden a child may readily know about. He may have learned about seeds and vegetables either from his parents or in the classroom. But I would guess that not many young ones know how the wild areas in our landscape are 'planted.' And that's what this wonderful, wonderful book is all about.
We learn the different ways that seeds are scattered: by wind, birds, sun, and water. And we see how wild animals may plant seeds themselves.
And even people have their part in creating a wild meadow, as
Seeds travel on muddy boots. Hitchhike on sweaters. Snag on socks. Sail on a puff of breath.Isn't the writing lovely. All those 's' words that will delight the listening child snuggled up beside her mother and father. The book is full of fun words like 'snap' 'whishhh' and 'plip-plop' - words which young ones will repeat with great gusto.
And the illustrations are really excellent. They evoke the wonder of the natural world of fish and squirrels and rabbits and flowers. The combination of Galbraith's words and Halperin's drawings is an inspired one.
This is the perfect children's book. I highly recommend you go out and get it for the little ones in your own lives, or just for yourself.
And there's an added treat for bloggers. The book is dedicated to
Pat Leuchtman, dear friend and gardener extraordinaire.Pat writes the commonweeder blog.