Monday, June 25, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Linnea's Windowsill Garden by Christina Bjork, illustrated by Lena Anderson

I seem to be out of nonfiction that is review-able at the moment. Most of what I'm buying is hot topic, super popular stuff, but nothing that I really feel like talking about. So I'm falling back on an old favorite today.

I love the Linnea books. I love her enthusiasm and independence and I love the flowers and plants that swarm through her stories. This is my favorite of the Linnea books, although it makes me sigh with longing every time I read it - my own windows face north and I've not been able to grow anything but a few polka-dot plants. But someday...

With the help of her friend Mr. Bloom, Linnea grows a myriad of plants in her small apartment. From orange trees to avocados, cress and beans, Scarlet Runner beans, Busy Lizzie (impatiens), and more, each one of them blooms and flourishes in Linnea's windowsill garden. With each plant, she learns something as well.

Linnea learns about the water cycle by planting a peperomia in a jar and creating her own miniature water cycle. She learns about how to take care of plants - watering, getting rid of bugs, etc. with her Busy Lizzie. She makes a game out of plum seeds, grows an amaryllis, and uses beans to learn about germination; and have a growing contest!

Verdict: This is an older book, translated in 1988, so some of the ideas will be a bit outdated; Mr. Bloom filling a bag with cigarette smoke to get rid of aphids for example. But most of the projects are as fresh and fun as when the book was first written and it has a delightful charm. Try making your own mini garden or dying a white rose and enjoy! Well worth looking for at the library or digging up a used copy.

ISBN: 9129590647; Published 1978 by R & S; Reviewed from my personal copy


9 comments:

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

How lovely to revisit her book! I just love Linnea's spunk and spirit, and the book illustrations.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I loved Linnea, too. How marvelous that these books are still around to be enjoyed.

shelf-employed said...

wondering... what is a polka-dot plant?

Jennifer said...

They're cute - they're a little houseplant with green leaves and pink polka dots. I think they're actually called something else...Hypoestes if you want the official name (-:)

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Nice! It's the first time I've heard of this book, and now I feel that I've missed out on so much. This looks really charming. I'm hoping we have this in our library. :)

Jennifer said...

I hope you do! Bjork's books were translated from the Swedish and apparently quite popular in Europe, so maybe there's a copy or two floating around!

Perogyo said...

I'd love the have an orange tree in my apartment! Linnea is adorable. A friend asked me for recommendations of books featuring girls that are not princesses or fairies or pink, I think I'll recommned Linnea to her!

Jennifer said...

Oh, YES! The best-known Linnea book is Linnea in Monet's Garden, where she goes to France with Mr. Bloom. She also has an Almanac, with projects for every month of the year. Lena Anderson, the illustrator, has also illustrated another book about a little girl who explores the world - Nicky the nature detective by Ulf Svedberg.

Perogyo said...

Those all look great, thank you!