Friday, May 28, 2021

Growing Season! Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever by Ruth Spiro

Maxine and her goldfish Milton were partners. She invented gadgets with gears and pulleys to feed fishy snack foods to Milton, and he ate them gladly.

Maxine the gismo maker had another friend, Leo, who liked to make things, too, but from a different point of view.

One day Maxine and Leo had the same idea. Spring was on its way and they decided it was time to make a garden. Leo drew a lush and blooming garden as his plan. Maxine's plan was more mechanical. Milton just wanted the garden to have a fish pond, and Maxine and Leo were on board with that!


Despite their different modus operandi, their garden grew as big and full of produce as their expectations. In fact, they were a little too productive! All the animal critters in the area considered their plots as their neighborhood food court--with foods of all kinds for all tastes. Bunnies munched carrots! Raccoons raided the other root veggies, along with squirrels and skunks. Birds ate the fruit and seeds.

Leo and Maxine needed some way to keep the freeloaders out!


Leo designed a bear scarecrow. It was big, but it was too cute. The critters loved it. Then Maxine decided it was time to harden their approach and concocted a scary robotic scarecrow. Maxine wrote code, and Leo sewed. They installed lasers to trip the Robo-eyed klaxens blinking with disco balls. It cleared the critters, but it was a bit too much, even for Maxine!

Maybe the best garden ever is one that is shared with the neighbors, in Ruth Spiro's just published Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever (Dial Books, 2021), detailed in artist Holly Hatam's illustrations. Maxine and Leo compromise, the critters approve the nibbles, and Milton enjoys the beautiful view from his bowl, and all agree theirs is the best garden ever.

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