Thursday, November 30, 2006

poetry friday: Busy in the Garden by George Shannon

Busy in the Garden by George Shannon. Illustrated by Sam

Dig a little.
Dig a lot.
Dig a brand-new garden spot.

Plant a little.
Plant a lot.
Plant the seeds and bulbs you bought.

Wait a little.
Wait a lot.
Wait much longer than you thought.

Pick a little.
Pick a lot.
Share the best bouquet you've got!

There's so much freshness and playfulness in this collection of gardening related poems, it's easy to understand why the illustrator chose to fill the pictures with images of toddlers. That may limit its appeal to older children... but no matter, some of these clever poems are clearly destined to be anthologized later. Meanwhile, younger children can enjoy the bouncy rhymes and word play, even if they're too young to appreciate many of the jokes. ("...the scarecrow--what a stuffed shirt!") The busy toddlers, happy animals and even smiling vegetables all add to the friendly air of the book, with light pen & ink pictures that never crowd out the words. (2 & up)