Like most gardeners and garden bloggers I typically don’t lavish words of praise on weeds. But today I will. Well, not on weeds per se, but rather on Weeds Find a Way, a children’s book for 4- to 8-year olds written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher.
I received a complementary copy from the author’s publicist but I was under no obligation to review the book, or say anything nice. But the book had me right from the cover.
The illustrations are superb and pull you in immediately. Kids who can’t read yet will be able to follow along just by looking at the pictures.
There isn’t a story per se. Instead the book talks about the various ways seeds are dispersed, the many places they find a hold in, and how they are beautiful in their own way:
Weeds find a way to be loved,
sending up flares of riotous red,
flags of green,
umbrellas of the finest white lace,
making a place sing with bees and birds,
exhaling breath as sweet as sleep.
I found Cindy Jenson-Elliott’s words surprisingly lyrical (I say “surprising” because when my kids were little, I plowed through my fair share of children’s books that were anything but lyrical.) Read out loud, Cindy’s prose flows with a natural rhythm that will appeal to listeners of any age.
While the body of the book is written with younger kids in mind, the last four pages are a compendium of common weeds that is full of interesting tidbits (and includes botanical names). Even adults will learn something—for example that Spanish monks scattered wild mustard (Brassica campestris) seeds along the road between the California missions to make it easier for them to find the way. Today, wild mustard grows all over California and is one of my favorite harbingers of spring.
Weeds Find a Way was published by Beach Lane Books and is available from the usual channels, including Amazon.
My kids are too old now for this book so I’ve decided to raffle it off among my readers. If you’d like to participate, please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note that this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. Shipping the book overseas would be cost-prohibitive.
Fellow garden blogger Alan reviewed Weeds Find a Way on his fantastic blog, It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening. Click here to read his review.