In the Garden: Who’s Been Here?
Lindsay Barrett George
Ages 4 to 6
HarperCollins, 2006, 0-06-078762-7
Christina and her brother Jeremy are going out to the garden to pick some vegetables for their mother. They quickly discover that many other creatures have been in the garden before they got there and many others are partaking of the wonderful things that are growing in the garden. A bumblebee is sipping nectar from the flowers and a chipmunk has been snacking on sunflower seeds. In among the tomato plants the children find signs that a tomato hookworm has been there, and they see that a rabbit has been nibbling on the beans.
Bit by bit the children see the signs of many different kinds of animals that share their world, creatures that slither, crawl, hop, and fly. The reader has the added bonus of being able to see what the garden visitor looked like while it was sampling the garden bounty not so long ago. Truly stunning full page illustrations of the creatures capture every feather, the bright eyes, the shiny scales, and much more.
At the back of the book the author has added notes about each of the eight animals that are shown in the story: the chipmunk, the crow, the mole, the hookworm, the deer mouse, the rabbit, the woodchuck, and the slug. The end result is that young readers come to see that if they look carefully enough in their yards, gardens and parks they will find the signs of many creatures and the clues will help them figure out what they are and what their lives might be like.
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