Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrated by Jane Dyer Format: Picture Books Age: Kindergarten – 1st grade Gulliver Books, 2004 Find this book at your local library
Out for a walk one day, Mrs. McGee comes across the most beautiful garden she has ever seen. When she asks “Whose garden is it?” she is given a variety of answers, from the gardener to the birds, insects and other creatures that inhabit the garden and eat, pollinate and enjoy the flowers and fruits.
The book is told in a most beautiful rhyme that makes it so much fun to read. The insects, animals, plants, flowers, etc all argue and tug-of-war over who the garden belongs to. It’s not really clear by the end of the book, but the reader learns that there are many elements and many different features that go into creating something beautiful. Each creature plays in a role in the garden, from the rabbit and mole eating the food, to the bees and butterflies creating pollen. The weather, and the even the teeny-tiny seed all claim supreme over the garden.
Jane Dyer’s illustrations are beautifully colored. Light and soft images, create a very relaxed garden setting. The images are simple, not cluttered, and the pages alternate from monotone, to all the colors of a blooming garden.
Mrs. McGee went out walking one day.
And as she was cheerfully wending her way,
She passed by a garden with colors so bright.
She never had seen such a beautiful sight!
“How splendid! How pleasant! How simply exquisite!
This garden is perfect…
But whose garden is it?
The text is neither too advanced, nor too simple. The book introduces a lot of new vocabulary and new creatures. I didn’t even know a vole existed before this book. A vole is ” any of several small mouselike or ratlike rodents of the genus Microtus and related genera, having short limbs and a short tail.” according to Dictionary.com.
This is a great book to read for the Spring or Summer, if you’re planting a garden or going to visit one. You can discuss the different creatures, the flowers, and fruits on each page and discuss how all the different elements interact to create on beautifully kept garden.