The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, Ill. by David Small

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, Ill. by David Small

gardener

Publishing: Farrar, Straus, Giroux; New York; 1997

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Description: Lydia Grace goes to live with her uncle in the city to help him out when her parents don’t have employment due to the Great Depression. She makes friends with the man and woman that work in the bakery, and continues the gardening she does at home in window boxes and eventually in her “secret place”-the roof of the building. At the end of a year she has a magnificent garden and though she has still not managed to make her uncle smile, he makes her a cake and she knows that he appreciates the work she has done. After a year, her parents have found work again and she is allowed to go home. The story is told in letters from Lydia Grace to her family.

Programming: This is a great tie-in to the Great Depression Era. It is also a good moral about making use of what you have-in this case, space. Students might plant their own window box gardens or at least small plants.

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And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Ill. by Erin E. Stead

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Ill. by Erin E. Stead

And-Then-Its-Spring-249x300

Publishing: Roaring Book Press, New York, 2012

Awards: 2013 ALA Notable Children’s Book

Description: A little boy and his dog are tired of the brown ground after the snow melts and so they plant a garden. They wait, and wait, and wait some more until finally the ground is no longer brown, but a lovely shade of green.

Programming: This would be the perfect activity to read in the spring time. Students could start their own seedlings, or perhaps you could start a class garden. My elementary school had a garden behind it and each class had a plot. This would have been perfect for tending that plot in the spring time!