Gar­den­ing with Emma

Grow and Have Fun: A Kid-to-kid Guide

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Middle Grade - CATHER­INE THURESON

Emma Biggs, Steven Biggs Storey Pub­lish­ing (FE­BRU­ARY) Soft­cover $18.95 (144pp), 978-1-61212-925-9

Emma Biggs’s Gar­den­ing with Emma is a de­light­ful book about learn­ing and lov­ing to gar­den.

The book cov­ers all as­pects of gar­den­ing, from the tools and space needed for var­i­ous types of gar­dens to choos­ing what and how to grow dif­fer­ent plants to tak­ing cut­tings and di­vid­ing plants. It dis­cusses top­ics such as soil types, wa­ter lev­els, and sun ex­po­sure. There are in­ter­est­ing sec­tions on ed­i­ble and gi­ant plants, and even in­struc­tions for mak­ing pots to grow plants in.

Biggs’s child-friendly ap­proach to creat­ing a fun gar­den in­volves blending col­ors and ex­plor­ing new plants, not wor­ry­ing about aes­thet­ics like straight rows and level soil. There are sugges­tions for build­ing play ar­eas like bean teepees and sun­flower houses. Other chil­dren’s gar­dens, in­clud­ing a young boy’s pur­ple gar­den and that of sis­ters who grow flow­ers to sell, are fea­tured, too, along with cre­ative gar­den­ing ideas like a gar­den full of plants that are good for tick­ling and a gar­den with the herbs needed to “grow a pizza.” The cre­ativ­ity is end­less.

Biggs her­self nar­rates and in­cludes con­sid­er­able in­for­ma­tion about her own pref­er­ences, such as her love of toma­toes. Her en­thu­si­asm is ef­fu­sive, whether she’s pre­sent­ing in­for­ma­tion about pests and ben­e­fi­cial bugs or dis­cussing ed­i­ble flow­ers and un­usual veg­eta­bles. Her plea­sure and joy is con­ta­gious.

Color pho­to­graphs cover ev­ery page of this beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated book. Each page of­fers some­thing new to look at and en­joy. Pho­tos of abun­dant veg­eta­bles, vi­brant flo­rals, and happy, play­ful chil­dren are cou­pled with in­for­mal, whim­si­cal draw­ings, mak­ing the prospect of gar­den­ing appealing to ev­ery­one.

Gar­den­ing with Emma is a friendly gar­den­ing book with unique ap­peal.

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