This is a little bit of a departure from her previous concept books, but it's not at all disappointing.
Hercules, or Herky, is the classroom pet of Miss MacGuffey's first grade. He's happy with his life and enjoys learning things. But life gets even more exciting when the kids learn how to grow seeds! Herky is determined to try this magic out for himself, and he soon gets the chance when he spends the summer on Miss MacGuffey's family farm and gets a little helpful instruction from a new friend, Daisy the bunny.
Herky learns to relax and enjoy his garden, as well as a little bit about how seeds grow in this charming story. Kate Duke's simple illustrations are cute and accessible with lots of little storytelling hints; fairy tales, activities, and more are all woven into the story. I loved the part where Herky realizes he wants a garden - it's so perfect!
Verdict: This isn't specifically a Halloween story, but will make a great read-aloud for Halloween, Thanksgiving, gardening, and school-themed storytimes. Kate Duke knows what kids, teachers, and librarians like to see and hear and she delivers it in this sweet gardening story. Recommended.
ISBN: 9780375870682; Published August 2012 by Alfred A. Knopf/Random House; Review copy provided by the publisher (kept for my personal guinea pig book collection); Purchased for the library.