Thursday, August 8, 2019

We are the Gardeners



From the opening page, "A garden is hard work, but so is most of the good, important stuff in life." What a great way to introduce this book--instructing children that doing hard things will be worth the effort. There are many other similarly wise sentiments sprinkled throughout the book. (Product suggestion: offering prints with an illustration by Swaney with quotes from the book.)

Given the Gaines' popularity in the home improvement world, one might assume they were born with green thumbs as well. Not so. This story (told from their children's perspective) shares their journey from the first gardening failure to eventual success. I loved the portrayal of a family working together planning the garden, sharing responsibility for its care and enjoying the fruits of their labors.


The book is also a wonderful nature primer covering a variety of topics in an engaging way: discussing the essential things a plant needs, choosing plants with pollination in mind, learning about insects that help (and harm) a garden, managing weeds, and protecting the garden from animal invaders.

I have to say that I was blown away by the beauty of Juliana Swaney's illustrations. Her vibrant, whimsical illustrations absolutely shine throughout this book!  If you want to see more of her amazing artwork, check out her website. You can also follow her on Instagram.

I highly recommend this book for every home, school, and public library.  I hope the Gaines children will help collaborate on many future books!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of We Are the Gardeners from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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