Monday, March 14, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Planting the wild garden by Kathryn Galbraith, illustrated by Wendy Halperin

 While I am firmly against picture book biographies, no matter how intriguing, I am firmly FOR readable picture book nonfiction, specifically picture book nonfiction that begs to be read aloud! This lovely new book about propagation is a perfect example of what I look for in read aloud nonfiction.

In simple language, Galbraith explains how seeds are planted in the wild. She describes several ways seeds are spread and planted, including wind, birds, self-propelling seeds, rain, streams, animals such as rabbits and foxes, and people. The story of how seeds are spread and planted moves briskly with text that is easily understandable by very young children and will also interest older listeners.

Wendy Halperin's illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to Galbraith's text. Soft colors and delicately detailed botanical drawings are beautifully arranged in a series of panels of various sizes. The large panels of the illustrations give an overall view of the area described while the smaller panels show the movement of the seeds in detail.

Verdict: This is a lovely book - beautifully written and beautifully illustrated. An excellent choice for preschool storytime and nature talks with older children. Highly recommended for every library collection.

ISBN: 9781561455638; Published April 2011 by Peachtree; F&G provided by publisher at at ALA Midwinter 2011; Purchased for the library


Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I didn't know you were against picture book biographies! I think I remember that you liked Summer Birds by Margarita Engle--that might have been because of the nonfiction (caterpillar to butterfly) elements, though. I look forward to checking this one out--we love seeds.

Anonymous said...

No picture book biographies! That would cut down on our biographies by quite a lot here. I do agree that it is nice to have non-fiction that is suitable for reading out loud. In our storytimes we are sent non-fiction for each theme, but sometimes it is just pictures to show. I am working on a future non-fiction post on toddler non fiction that focuses on photos with little text.

Jennifer said...

I am not personally against picture book biographies, in fact the problem is that I like them...but they simply will not circulate at our library. I had to be very, very strict and make myself stop buying them for any reason, because no matter how much I booktalked or displayed them, they didn't circ. My patrons want all their biographies at least 100 pages. I did love Summer Birds...

KOG said...

Dear Jennifer,
What a lovely, lovely review. I'm delighted you selected PLANTING THE WILD GARDEN as your Non-Fiction Monday book. This book is dear to my heart. I loved doing all the research - on foot and in books- and all the required drafts to make the words sing - at least sing to me. I feel so fortunate that Peachtee paired my words with Wendy's magical art.

With many warm thanks,