What Grew in Larry's Garden
What Grew in Larry's Garden

What Grew in Larry's Garden

Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Kass Reich
4 - 8
Reading age
Page count
Apr 7, 2020
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

A beautifully told, wonderfully illustrated, and utterly charming tale of community and problem solving!

Grace lives next door to Larry, an elderly teacher with a beautiful garden filled with unusual vegetables. She spends all her spare time there as they solve problems together (“We can figure this out”), from planting marigolds among the carrots to deter bugs (a tip Grace discovers on a trip to the library!) to building chicken wire cages around the tomatoes to keep out the squirrels. As a teacher, Larry helps his students form community ties by nurturing their own tomato plants and then gifting them to someone with a note explaining the gift. When a fellow neighbor builds a wall that blocks the sunlight (“The plants looked wilted. So did Larry.”), Grace draws inspiration from Larry and mediates the situation with seeds, a note, and some kindness in a way that brings the story full circle. Reich’s illustrations are gorgeous and inviting, filled with friendly-looking characters, uniquely stylized plants, and beautiful colors. Together with Alary’s text, they create a sense of growth and community that encircles readers with a feeling of empowerment and a desire to make the world a better place (and maybe even plant a garden!). Problem solving, conflict resolution, friendship, and creating community are all on display in this authentic story.

What Kind of Book is What Grew in Larry's Garden

Primarily about



Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Heartstrings

    The “Heartstrings” badge is awarded to books that provoke an exceptionally tender emotional response.

  • Thoughtful Citizen

    The “Thoughtful Citizen” badge is awarded to recognize exceptional books that promote exemplary citizenship.


Book Lists That Include This Book

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Laura Alary Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Laura Alary know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Kass Reich Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Kass Reich know that you want to hear from them about their book.

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Book Details

Publication Date
April 7, 2020
Kids Can Press
Text Details
Text is set in Minya Nouvelle
Illustration Details
Artwork was rendered with gouache paint and coloured pencils, with final touches added digitally.
Page Count
Reading Age
4 - 8 years

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Core Score - 85%

So, SO close to perfection!

Depth Score - 31%

Just the barebones.

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