Lovejoy gives detailed directions for a number of garden projects that kids are sure to love, from a Pizza Patch to a Sunflower House to a Flowery Maze. While her garden is in California, I think most of her planting suggestions would work in my colder zone. She weaves in snippets of poetry, folklore, mythology, and of course some basic botany and horticulture. Pure magic! What child could resist a mini-garden planted in an old boot or glove? or the scarecrow and worm box projects? or Mother Nature's Tea Party? Nature-based crafts and activities abound. Children are too often alienated from the wonders of nature -- and doesn't the future of the planet depend on their connection with its simple bounty?
Do choose your plants carefully to avoid toxic elements, and supervise in accordance with the youngsters' ages. And if you live in the Southern hemisphere, remember that when you stand in your garden at noon the shadows point south, not north. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a novice, all you need to know is here in Lovejoy's charmingly illustrated, jam-packed book. Recommended if you want to unleash your creativity and delight a child -- or yourself. I've been reacquainting myself with this old friend because it's on my Christmas list for the nieces and nephews. Five stars and highly recommended.
Linda Bulger, 2008
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Linda Bulger (Linda_in_Maine)
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Green thumbs and non-green thumbs alike will fall in love withRoots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots, a remarkably fun and informative introduction to the wonderful world of gardening--and more specifically, gardening with children. Learn how to make everything from a pizza garden (pizza-pie-shaped, with herbs and vegetables for a fabulous pizza at harvest time), to a sunflower house (a secret hideaway with stately sunflowers and lovely creeping morning glories), to a moon garden ("Fragrance is the color of night"). Chock full of helpful hints, clever and artistic touches, and intriguing "recipes" (Moth Broth and Compost Sandwich, to name a few), this idea book will spark creativity and a lifelong fascination with gardening. Nine concepts for theme gardens are presented in a clearly defined yet non-rigid manner that is just right for encouraging young gardeners. Sharon Lovejoy, award-winning author and illustrator of several gardening books, includingHollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, has a true knack for working with all kinds of living things, including children. She understands how quickly young people will be turned off by inflexible rules, and instead encourages budding green thumbs to experiment and explore, while providing them with useful guidelines and helpful information. Wonderfully earthy watercolors make this cozy book even more welcoming. (All ages)--Emilie Coulter