“Gorgeous, flowing text highlights more bugs and critters than plants in this somewhat forgettable garden book.”
From the tiniest of seeds that “sits beneath a millipede” to a large crowd of fireflies flying through the air, In a Garden displays a myriad of life forms surrounding a garden, in a celebration of nature through all its seasons. The focus weighs more heavily towards bugs and critters found in the garden, such as slugs, ants, and roly-polies, than it does on the plants in the garden, though the plants are labeled in the illustrations. While the text mentions of newborn flowers, buds emerging, and falling leaves, the true highlights are the details like searching for the camouflaged bugs in the tree, an underground view at the worms and bugs in the soil, and the bees with pollen sticking to their heads and feet. The fanciful serif font seems too formal for the more casual illustrations but highlights the elaborate beauty of even the simplest views of nature, exponentially amplified through the gorgeous cadence that trips effortlessly off the tongue like a lullaby. With very little story, the book in its entirety is slightly forgettable, making the most memorable aspects the soothing flow of the text and the colorful bursts of nature in the illustrations.
Acclaimed author Tim McCanna celebrates gardens, nature, and all sorts of critters in this delightful and vibrant read-aloud picture book.
In the earth a single seed sits beside a millipede worms and termites dig and toil moving through the garden soil
How does a garden grow? Follow along from seed to sprout to bud to flower as a garden blooms. Worms, ladybugs, millipedes, and more help a garden grow each season. Tim McCanna’s gorgeous, rhyming text, combined with Aimée Sicuro’s stunning illustrations make this charming picture book as informative as it is fun to read aloud.
Bonus backmatter features tons of cool facts about ecosystems and the symbiosis between plants and bugs.
There are many fun scenes shown through the illustrations in this book, like catching fireflies, watering flowers, walking a dog, and planting bulbs. Are any of these activities familiar? What do you like to do in a garden?
There is a huge variety of plants, bugs, and animals included in this book. Do you have a favorite flower or bug?
Tim McCanna is the author of Bitty Bot, Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway, and Watersong, which was called a “joyful, gorgeous book” by Booklist. When he’s not writing books for children, Tim enjoys volunteering for SCBWI and taking trips to the beach. Tim has worked in advertising, written musicals, and played accordion in several bands before becoming a children’s book author. He lives in San Jose, California, with his wife and two kids. Visit him at TimMcCanna.com.
For Hudson, my creature seeker and forever gardener
“Scale and perspective are more stylized than literal. McCanna’s superb scansion never misses, incorporating lists of insects and plants (“Lacewings, gnats, / mosquitos, spiders, / dragonflies, and water striders / live among the cattail reeds, / lily pads, and waterweeds”) with description (“Sunlight warms the morning air. / Dewdrops shimmer / here and there”). Readers see more than gardeners do, such as rabbits stealing carrots and lettuce from garden boxes.
Like its subject: full of bustling life yet peaceful.”