What’s in the Garden?

Written by Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Cris Arbo

Winner of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award (Children’s Picture Book)

2013 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award

2013 Mom’s Choice Gold Award

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Marianne Berkes has made a habit of writing wonderfully inspiring, ‘interactive’ books for children. The series Over In The….(Forest, Ocean, Jungle, Arctic, Australia) contained detailed information hidden in crisp rhymes. She has repeated the feat in her new book What’s in the Garden?

The book is written as easy-to-solve riddles. The short verse on the right-hand page poses a riddle, but you have to turn the page to find the answer. There is also an easy-to-make recipe associated with that fruit or vegetable. This is the first verse:
  Delicious, nutritious, what could it be?
  In spring there are blossoms all over the tree.
  Red, green, or yellow, with fruit that is round.
  If you don’t pick it, it plops to the ground.
The answer is apple — red, green or yellow. The accompanying recipe describes how to make applesauce. Each full page spread is an accurate, vibrantly colored illustration that draws the reader in. So detailed are the illustrations that you can almost feel the texture of a leaf, the fine hairs along the pumpkin stalk.

One fruit “has a long ear, but never an eye,” another “doesn’t have ears, but does have eyes.” Second grade readers will surely enjoy solving the riddles and making the accompanying dishes.

The back matter is rich with additional information. “Food For Thought” provides more information on the fruits and vegetables mentioned in the book. Older readers would benefit from this for their projects and term papers. “How Does Your Garden Grow?” describes how a plant starts and what it needs to prosper. Many projects and reading activities can be created from the book as children learn where their fruits and veggies come from. Here is an entertaining song (Dirt Made My Lunch) with the same idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCeyXW64cns

  • Whats in the GardenTitle: What’s in the Garden?
  • Author: Marianne Berkes
  • Illustrator: Cris Arbo
  • Publisher: Dawn Publications
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-58469-190-7
  • Genre: Picture Book/ Non-Fiction


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