Who’s In The Garden? by Phillis Gershator

I’m approaching my review of Who’s In The Garden? with a bit of trepidation, because I’m not quite sure I can do this book justice. Still, it would be a shame if I never told you about it at all, so here we go.

Who’s In The Garden? is a simple picture book, suitable for the youngest readers, featuring windows through each page to “peek” through (and poke fingers through!) The text is simple as well, with pairs of pages asking “Who’s coming to see how my garden grows?” and then featuring a garden animal. This is not scintillating literature, but it’s easily readable.

The treasure of this book is it’s illustration. Done in a mixed-media style, it’s bright, colorful, and very, very appealing. You can linger over each page, soaking in the art and playing “I Spy” with the charming details. Likewise, it’s a book you can return to many times, to savor the illustrations.

The most exciting thing about Who’s In The Garden? may be the fact that it’s one of many titles from the publisher, Barefoot Books. I’m not familiar with them, but their catalog is quite tantalizing, and it appears that there is a definite vision for the books they choose. Here, I’ll quote from their website:

Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back. That’s what Barefoot Books is all about. It’s exploring other cultures, our planet, ourselves. It’s making time for make-believe and letting imaginations run wild and free. Most of all, it’s about using the power of stories to nourish the creative spark in everyone and strengthen connections with family, the global community, and the earth.

Barefoot Books began with two mothers who wanted their children to have books that would feed the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet. Today, we are a world-wide community of writers, artists, storytellers, musicians, and others who are committed to providing timeless stories and captivating art that can help children become happy, engaged members of a global society.

My library doesn’t offer a way for me to search by publisher, so I’m going to have to ask the library staff to see what else is in their holdings. I’m quite eager to see more examples of this caliber of work. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Who’s In the Garden? as much as my kids and I did.

Available on Amazon

Who’s In The Garden? by Phillis Gershator, ill. by Jill McDonald. Barefoot Books, 2010.

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