Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pied Beauty: The Imperfect Garden by Melissa Assaly

In the spring, we plant seeds in the soil. This year Mom says I am old enough to help pick the fruits and vegetables.

In June, we find cucumbers growing on vines in all kinds of twirly-whirly shapes!

Little Jay finds one cuke in the shape of a J, the beginning of his name, and one in the shape of the number six.
"Why are the cucumbers at the supermaket all straight?" I ask Mom.

Jay's mom tells him people like only straight cucumbers. And when Jay helps dig the carrots, he find one that seems to have two legs, but he also finds that carrots taste same, no matter how many legs they have.

And late in the fall the apples are ripe. Some are yellow and red, and some are just red.
Some are bumpy. I find one that looks like a funny face.

But Mom and Jay use all of the apples to make two pies, one for them and one for their neighbor.
I am glad we had enough apples to make two. If we had thrown away the bumpy apples, we would have only had enough for one pie!

And when all the food from their own backyard is eaten up, Mom and Jay have to shop at the supermarket. He notices there are no apples with faces, or carrots with extra legs or curly cucumbers.
Don't grownups know they all taste the same?

Melissa Assaly's The Imperfect Garden (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2019) is a story that celebrates home gardens and the value of less-than-perfect produce, most of which sadly goes to waste. Illustrated with charm, this picture book is perfect for school gardening units and an effective plug for spring planting in home gardens. Author Assaly provides an appendix, "Tips for Planting with Children," for big backyard or balcony and window container gardens. Artist April Milne fills the endpapers with delightfully shaped fruits and veggies, seed packets, and garden tools.

Says Booklist, "Here's a book that's clever, sweet, and provides some very useful information. . ."

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    By Anonymous Ifigeneia, at 4:24 AM  

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