Sunday, February 26, 2012

Planting The Wild Garden

Galbraith, Kathryn O. 2011. PLANTING THE WILD GARDEN. Ill. by Wendy Anderson Halperin. Atlanta: Peachtree. ISBN 9781561455638 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-3]

This quiet, lyrical picture book introduces the many ways seeds are dispersed and planted through natural means in the wild. After an introduction to a farmer and her boy planting their own garden, the book follows seeds being moved and deposited by winds, birds, sun drying, water, animals, and humans. Onomatopoeia adds snap to the text, which also mentions the variety of ways different seeds are adapted to move.

Soft pencil and watercolor in muted colors tell their own story, adding details to the spare text. Illustrator Halperin uses a variety of squares and shapes to divide the art, accenting the seeds such as cockleburs and acorns in a row of boxes in different stages of development below the main art. The story follows a natural sequence through the seasons and weather. The final spread shows the results of the seed dispersal and the different elements and means of conveyance by which the seeds arrived and grew.

The book provides children an intimate peek into nature and the world of plants and animals often not seen in urban settings and opens the world of nature and adaptations by seeds.

Bring in or take a nature walk to gather acorns and observe growing plants or grasses that might have seeds. Use other books to read and find out seed needs and then plant the acorns in small cups. Care for the seeds until they sprout and observe their growth.

Other books for children about nature and seed dispersal:
Macken, Joann Early. FLIP, FLOAT, FLY: SEEDS ON THE MOVE. ISBN 9780823420438
Pascoe, Elaine. SEEDS TRAVEL (HOW & WHY). ISBN 9780836830125

By Shirley Duke

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