I celebrated the arrival of my friend Kathryn Galbraith‘s new book Arbor Day Square and then I saw My Garden by Kevin Henkes on the New Book shelf at the Heath Library.
As a former librarian I know it used to be difficult to find books for young children about gardening, whether real gardens with real information, or about imaginary gardens, but happily that seems to be changing. Kevin Henkes is one of my favorites authors and illustrators because he has so much understanding of a child’s ecstatic emotions, happy or sad. In My Garden a little girl is bursting with joyful imagination.
She helps her mother in a real garden, watering, weeding and chasing away the rabbits. She also imagines her own brilliant garden where the rabbits are chocolate, where there are no weeds, where tomatoes are “as big as beach balls, and the carrots would be invisible because I don’t like carrots.”
Even when we have children helping us with real garden chores on a summer day we should always remember that there may be a lot more going on in their minds than where to dump the weeds or put away the watering can.