Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Green, Green: A community gardening story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

While I personally like urban gardening picture books, I rarely buy them - they're not very relevant to my community. We're a cross between suburban and rural - a class may include kids who live and work on a farm, kids with chickens in the backyard, and kids who have never been out of town and don't know where eggs come from (ok, that's a little bit of an exaggeration because of the huge county fair, but close).

However, I love the illustrations and the theme of this one so much that I think I will be adding it.

A racially mixed group of kids and parents enjoy the green of fields, backyards, and gardens. But when trucks and diggers come to town and start construction, "Brown brown, dig the ground." soon the city takes over everything. Now the green is in spots and windows, and in empty lots. But can they go from brown and gray back to green? With a lot of hard work, the green grows once again, sandwiched between the city buildings.

Back matter includes inspiration for city gardens, suggestions for helping pollinators, and a butterfly craft.

Sonia Sanchez' illustrations show the joy and exuberance of a garden and the green that grows all around, as well as the hard work it takes to clear, dig, and maintain the space. I always feel that urban garden books don't really show how much work goes into the space, but I think this book does a good job of showing all the trash clean-up and the volume of people needed to get the garden going. The pages sing with color, greens, browns, even the yellows and grays of the city streets.

Verdict: An inspiring and poetic book, a great storytime choice, or a perfect pick for a garden program.

ISBN: 9780374327972; Published 2017 by Farrar Straus Giroux; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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