- Author: Lanie Keystone
I am always on the lookout for engaging children's books about gardening. A well-written children's book can present information in a clear, reductive manner, teach an important life lesson, and inspire-- all at the same time. We Are the Gardeners is just such a book!
Written by Joanna Gaines and her kids and illustrated with joyfully languid watercolors by Julianna Swaney, this book hits the mark in so many ways. Before going any further, if the name Jo Gaines rings a bell—then you're a fan of HGTV's wildly popular show, “Fixer Upper” with Jo and husband Chip. My thinking is, if they can have half the success with a garden as they do with their weekly “fixer-uppers”, then I'm all in. And they do!
The book begins with a lovely fern that the dad brings home from the hardware store. The Gaines clan is so excited. They perch it in the window with lots of light and each, by turn, gives the little guy a lot to drink. Bottom line—they love it to death! And so begins the journey of learning how to tend such a delicate plant which leads to how to create a thriving, growing garden.
The family learns about the basics of soil, micro-organisms, worms, and more. With all this information, a bountiful garden blooms and flourishes. So much so, that there are some unsavory characters attracted to all the lushness: some “bad” insects along with the “good” and “sneaky” animals that love the buffet that the garden provides. Just enough bumps and disasters along the way to make a good story and, eventually, some very good gardeners That's where the important life lessons come in; like being patient, diligent, and persistent. The arrival of a new baby adds another feel-good element to this book about hard work and “everyday miracles.” Geared to the 4-8-year-old crowd, it grabbed and charmed this grandma of five! I recommend this delightful book for you and yours to begin a fulfilling and wonderful new year.