Friday, May 20, 2016

PPBF: My Garden

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

My Garden, by Kevin Henkes
My Garden
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow, 2010
Ages 2-7, 280 words

Gardening, Imagination

"My mother has a garden. I'm her helper. I water. I weed.
And I chase away the rabbits so that they don't eat all the lettuce.
It's hard work, and my mother's garden is very nice,
But if I had a garden..."

A little girl delights in her mother's garden, but dreams of a magical garden of her own where sea shells and jelly beans grow, chocolate rabbits abound, and the flowers change color at her whim.

What I Love:
I love the style Henkes uses, part child's marker-drawing, part linocut, part fabric pattern. His pages are bursting with child-like colors and almost smell like spring. He captures the young narrator's voice flawlessly. For example, the carrrots in her garden are invisible, because she doesn't like to eat them!


I found this umbrella garden on DIY Enthusiasts
1. The author/illustrator has produced a teachers guide for My Garden and other books on his website.
2. Kids Play Box designed an adorable jelly bean bush crafts inspired by this book. You'll find the instructions on their blog.
3. In the book, the garden unexpectedly sprouts buttons, old rusty keys, and umbrellas. Decorate your garden with colorful recycled key windchimes from Inner Child Fun. Faithtap showcases a dozen planter ideas from your closet including umbrella planters. DIY button stepping stones from Make Your Mark are brilliant!
4. The Science of Spring website is brimming with kid-friendly garden ideas including teacher packets for all grade levels.
5. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Loni
Reviewed by Laura

Reviewed by Penny
Reviewed by Patricia

Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by Diane

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, May 20, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. I absolutely love this story. I love the last page! Read it a while ago. I've been thinking of gift books, and this would be perfect. Thanks.

    1. Glad to have reminded you! I like Kevin's books in general, but this one really struck a chord with me.

  2. This sounds lovely! Perfect for this time of year.

    1. It's been raining this week, so the illustrations provided a nice pick-me-up. Thanks.

  3. What great book-related activities! I love the umbrella garden. I also like the idea of chocolate rabbits in the garden...

    1. It would be fun to have a book-themed party around this book! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. How amazing! I came across this book only last week at my library! It's a colorful, happy gem of a book. I alos love your umbrella planter! I know when I show that picture to my daughter, she's going to want to add that colorful addition to our garden. It's inspired!

    1. Exactly! Our house is under construction now, but I'm looking forward to adding some of these quirky garden details once the landscaping is ready to be done. Thanks.

  5. My favorite Henkes books are the ones he illustrated himself. I dragged my kids to the school garden club a few too many times, I thought, because they never took to it. BUT years later they ASK to visit the botanical gardens. Must have done something right!

    1. Ha! My family's first trip to Hershey Gardens was met with disapproval, but it remains one of the kids' fondest memories. Thanks.


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!