In spring when you want to interest a young child in planting a garden reach for Henry Cole’s book, Jack’s Garden. It provides step by step directions for planting and growing a garden in a creative, artistic way that both adults and children can enjoy. The author combines a catchy, rhythmic text with beautiful illustrations and a huge amount of factual material to produce an exciting introduction to planting a flower garden.
The story revolves around the garden of a boy named Jack. We meet Jack as he stands in the turned-over soil that is to be his garden with shovel in hand. The story continues with a new line plus the repetition of all of the previous text, reminiscent of The House that Jack built. Each new scene fills two facing pages and present a moment in the development of a garden. We see the soil and the creatures that inhabit it, different kinds of seeds, a rainy day in the garden, the sprouting of the seeds, development of plants, buds, and flowers, and insects and birds visiting the flowers. Each scene is accompanied by detailed, labeled drawings of tools, plant parts, insects, worms, and other animals and items that play a role in a garden. One of my favorite pages includes six different birds with detailed pictures of their eggs. Another page features coneflowers hosting eight different butterflies and an array of bugs, beetles, and bees. All through the book there is enough going on to interest both a three year old as well as much older children.
The wealth of factual information combined with the attractive art work created with colored pencils on paper of different colors make a sensational work from start to finish. The story line is very simple but the repetition quickly engages a young child and makes the book fun and easy to read. What a wonderful way to motivate a youngster to explore the outdoors and create a garden!
To buy Jack’s Garden from Amazon.com click here.