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And the Good Brown Earth
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And the Good Brown Earth

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A patient Gram and her spirited grandson follow the cycle of the seasons as they savor the shared joy of growing things.

Gram and Joe are great friends, and they love to spend time together, taking care of the vegetable patch-with a little help from nature, of course. But it takes a lot of patience. There’s digging time, planting time, weeding time, watering time, even thin
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 8th 2004 by Candlewick
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Apr 09, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ages 2-8, boys & girls; children interested in gardening/nature; grandparents
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
The illustrations are perfection. From the inside covers showing the good brown earth, leaves and all, to all the illustrations of the planting and harvesting cycles and all the work a garden requires, and the story of this grandmother and grandson team even allowed for one lovely beach scene. I loved these illustrations. They have just the right amount of complexity and the colors are wonderful. And all the vegetables and fruits looked delectable!

The story is also a winner. It’s nice to see a c
I loved this book! Part of it could be because I have such fond memories of helping my grandma garden when I was a little girl--I learned so much about the good brown earth and plants and insects and animals that way! :-) This is such a joyful and warm story, following the little boy and his grandma as they go through a year of gardening from tilling the soil to harvest-time. Everything about the story and illustrations totally work for me. It's a great story for showing the bond between generat ...more
What a sweetly simple story about the transformation of a plot of "good brown earth" to a full fledged garden!

I love how Gram takes Joe with her to her garden spot and shows him what goes into the growing of a garden. Joe is even given a bit of land to grow his own garden (the results are wonderful!).

There's nothing overly specific, technical or scientific here, but in a way that's what makes it so wonderful, and for children who aren't familiar with how plants grow, it's a great introduction.

Apr 19, 2017 Cheryl rated it really liked it
When I was a parent of younglings, I would have bought this and read it over and over to my boys. I hope other families are inspired to garden by this beautiful story.
Apr 25, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet story about a grandmother and her grandson who spend a lot of time together tilling, planting, tending and harvesting a garden. The book has fun and expressive illustrations that have a mottled design, but plenty of details to point out.

The narrative is repetitive in a soothing, almost lyrical way. It's a nice way to depict a close relationship between extended family members, the life cycle of plants, and the changing of the seasons. We really enjoyed reading this story togethe
Apr 26, 2010 Peregrine rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, detailed illustrations fill this book, a story told from a child's sense of time. An adult reader will put a more measured perspective over this, but only as a transparency, not to obscure. Whole weeks and months disappear, telescoped into remembered highlights piercing in their vividness and joy. One visit for weeding, with no mention of potato bugs or cabbage worms. Strawberries and pumpkins are not in season at the same time, of course, but for Joe, the harvest is one long undiffere ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very sweet. the relationship between the gram and the little boy and taking steps through the cycle of a garden. just missing credit to the One who designed "the good brown earth."
Kathy Davie
Sep 02, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
A standalone picture book for children...and grandmas.

My Take
I love the colors Henderson uses — be sure to pause on the first page with its spread of dried autumn leaves. It’s glorious! The graphics appear to be a blend of watercolor and crayons and alternate between covering both pages and having a lovely amount of white space around them. They’re soft and cheerful at the same time.

Henderson takes us through all the stages of gardening from putting it to bed in fall to planning and playing thro
Mar 20, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Add this to your witchy bookshelf! A wonderful book about the turning of the seasons and relationship, set in a beautifully depicted garden. Grandma's refrain sets the tone and names the seasons in a way that reconnects our human action to the cycles of the good brown earth: "Now's digging time" "Now's thinking time" "Now's watching time" "Now's resting time" "Now's gathering time"... My favorite kid moment in the book is when Joe's garden, where he planted "Lots of seeds. Here, there, who-knows ...more
Olugbemisola Ogutuga
This book is about the story of a young boy and his grandmother who worked in a garden and waited as "the good brown earth got on with doing what the good brown earth does best" Beginning in late fall, Joe and Gram visit the vegetable patch each season. Each time Gram goes to the vegetable patch, Joe goes with her to work and play in the garden.He helps plant seeds and pulls weeds and then celebrates with Gram when all of the vegetables are ready to harvest.
This book shows the role the eaerth pl
Feb 15, 2013 Taryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I loved the story of gardening, I loved the relationships, I loved the styles of gardening, I loved the way the writer set each season with her well-chosen words and pictures. I loved it. I don't know that it's a five-star book by Publisher's Weekly standards, but for our family, who's in love with gardening and children's roles in it, it's perfect.
May 30, 2014 JoAnn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I fell in love with this book the very first time we checked it out from the library. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is full of love. Love for gardening, the passage of time, and being together with family. I loved how the grandmother included her grandson in every stage of gardening and how free he was to make his garden his own. A sweet story that we now have in our home library.
Twila Warner
Jan 02, 2014 Twila Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"higgldy, piggldy, fantastic!"
A patient Gram and her spirited grandson follow the cycle of the seasons as they savor the shared joy of growing things in the garden.
May 27, 2010 Krysta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meghan Armstrong
Shelves: childrens-books
A great book that explains about the seasons and gardening. I'm not a gardener myself but it is a great way to explain to kids how fruits and vegetables grow.
Very cute, makes me anxious for playing in the good brown earth!
Kathy Henderson

Gr. K - 3

Plants/Growing a Garden/Plant Need Nutrients
Heather Jo
May 10, 2013 Heather Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meggie-list
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
And I have a new favorite picture book about the garden! What a lush, beautiful, friendly and realistic book about nature and creating a garden. The illustrations seem to be moving with life!
This is a beautiful picture book about the rhythm of a year and how plants grow. It's a good story with beautiful illustrations, conveying a love of nature and trust in the cycles of the Earth.
May 18, 2013 Miguel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preschool
Boring 3rd person narrative. Weak poetry
Amanda Connelly
Nov 17, 2015 Amanda Connelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edrd314
Good book to talk about treating the earth well.
Jun 28, 2010 Korie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the simplicity of this children's book. It was a perfect evening read with my 4yo after picking vegetables in our garden.
J.F. Sanborn
J.F. Sanborn rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2011
Diana Thomsen
Apr 18, 2017 Diana Thomsen rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime, kids
Okay. So this one is, perhaps a little wordy. And the illustrations were, overall, rather blah. But the pages that repeat the title phrase were gorgeous and it felt so intrinsically appealing to say that line over and over again. I just wish it has been repeated more! I will say that the last page, when I read that title line for the last time, had the parents absolutely enthralled. So while the book may not have felt all that special, the pleasure created by reading that title line makes the wh ...more
Kim rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2013
Elke Erickson
Elke Erickson rated it it was ok
Dec 13, 2012
Beth rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2011
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Kathy Henderson is an artist, printmaker and illustrator, as well as an author. She has written many books for children of all ages including In the Middle of the Night, The Year in the City, Fearless Fitzroy and The Little Boat, which won the Kurt Maschler Award and was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. She has also illustrated a number of books herself including And the Good Brown Earth and Th ...more
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