My Garden
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My Garden

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,349 ratings  ·  186 reviews
The girl in this book grows chocolate rabbits, tomatoes as big as beach balls, flowers that change color, and seashells in her garden.

How does your garden grow?

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Greenwillow Books
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I didn't know anything about the book and was surprised to discover it is not so much about actual gardening (though there is a real garden the mom and daughter plant) as imaginative gardening as the little girl dreams of having a garden with no weeds or dead plants, and wants to plant seashells (to grow seashells, of course!) and jellybeans to grow candy plants. And there would be no carrots, because she does not like them ;-) Overall, I appreciated the imaginative approach, though I do love re...more
Lisa Vegan
Apr 14, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: encouraging imaginative kids to express themselves; garden lovers
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Chocolate rabbits and strawberry lanterns, and flowers that change their colors and have patterns? Sign me up! No carrots and things such as buttons and umbrellas? No thank you. But, that’s what makes this book such fun. Every reader/listener is encouraged to think about what their ideal garden might contain.

A lot of imagination, some humor and some whimsy, and a lot f fun.

I’m not sure I was wild about the illustrations, especially given what they could be given that the story is about gardens,...more
I love the concept of this book - a little girl who, while helping her mother in their garden, imagines the type of garden *she* would have. Her imagination is endless, from planting seashells to grow seashells, to jellybeans to grow candy plants, to all sorts of things in between!

I love books that inspire and promote imagination, and this book does just that.

I did feel though that the book needed more connection (the things to plant felt a little too random for me). And the bit about there not...more
My Garden by Kevin Henkes (2010)
Genre: Picture book
Format: Book
Plot summary: A young girl imagines her dream garden complete with jellybean bushes, chocolate rabbits, and tomatoes the size of beach balls.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.): No special consideration
Review citation (if available: Novelist, Janssen, Carolyn School Library Journal , March 2010, Vol. 56 Issue 3, p119-120
Section source used to find the m...more
After reading the description, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this but I ended up loving it! It's surprisingly cute.

While helping her mother in the garden, a little girl daydreams about what her garden would look like if she had one. Tomatoes as big as beach balls, chocolate rabbits instead of real ones, flowers that can change colour just by thinking about it and when you pick a flower, a new one pops up!

I especially enjoyed the jelly bean bush and the strawberries that glow like lantern...more
My Garden / Kevin Henkes / 2010
Genre: fiction
Format: picture book

Plot Summary: After helping her mother weed, water, and chase the rabbits from their garden, a young girl imagines her dream garden complete with jellybean bushes, chocolate rabbits, and tomatoes the size of beach balls.

Considerations: none

Review Citation:
Booklist May 29 2013
"Young children will enjoy the girl’s silly and ingenious exploits in her imaginary garden"

Selection Source: Booklist reviews
Recommended age: 0-5
Bonnie Ferrante
The picture book begins in reality with a little girl helping her mother in the garden. From there the child imagines the perfect, magical garden where nothing dies, flowers change color, rabbits are chocolate, and anything you plant including jellybeans and umbrellas will grow. The child discusses flowers and vegetables. At the end, the little girl decides to indulge her fantasy and secretly plants a seashell in the garden.

This simple story would be a wonderful accompaniment to discussion on ga...more
Allison Parker
Imagination as well as flowers bloom in this book. A young girl, after working in her mother's garden, imagines what her own garden would be like: flowers would change colors, seashells would grow on stems, and carrots would be invisible, because "I don't like carrots." Henkes' artwork is bright and bubbly, often busy pastels that might overwhelm without the blissfully white and simple text pages facing each illustration.
Oh Kevin Henkes, I love your books!
"If I planted seashells, I'd grow seashells. if I planted jelly beans, I'd grow a great big jelly bean bush." This reminded of the time i buried charcoal all over my yard because i thought diamonds would pop out.
Dana Wright
Imagination and garden. An inspiring book.
“My Garden” is about a little girl who helps her mother take care of her garden. She imagines what it would be like to have her own garden and how much more beautiful hers would be compared to her mother’s. She pictures a magic garden where everything is perfect and she can grow whatever she wants, including, buttons, jelly beans, and seashells. She decides to plant a seashell in the garden before she goes to bed one night to see if a seashell tree will grow. The last illustration in the book is...more
A little girl helps her mother in her garden. It is a nice garden, but if the little girl could create her own garden, it would be very different! There would be no weeds. No plants would die. If you imagined the flowers different colors and patterns, they would change. Rabbits would not eat lettuce, instead they would be chocolate rabbits meant to be eaten. There would be lots of birds and butterflies, and unique things would suddenly grow. This beauty of a book will inspire children to dream t...more
A little girl helps her mother in the garden and imagines what her own garden would be like: her flowers could change color, grow back right after you picked them, have chocolate rabbits running through it, grow seashells, jellybean bushes, and more! Preschool- Grade1.

Curriculum Connection: This would be a wonderful book to do an art project with, letting students show their individuality, and creating a classroom garden with the pictures. It would be a terrific discussion starter on being uniqu...more
Eva Leger
3.5 - This is nothing like the description which is very bland. I'm surprised I already had this listed to-read and I must have found it elsewhere because there is no way I'd have added this - much less went and found it - on that description alone. (That description is also on the inside front flap of the book. You'd think someone could have come up with something a little more, well, uh, descriptive.)
An interesting little piece of info - there is a family by the name of Henkes in my developme...more
Ellen Shackley
Genre: Fantasy

Summary: A young girl gardens with her mother and dreams of her own fantastic garden where anything is possible.

A. Theme

B. This book had a strong positive theme of hope and believing in your dreams. In the story, the young girl dreams of a garden where impossible things happen, towards the end she admits that she knows none of these things could happen but still dreams of them. I think the author depicted the theme very well.

C. The young girl in the book lists many things that woul...more
Layla & Rachel
Before you even begin reading this book, or this review, we wanted to point something out. This book doesn't rhyme. We know it's silly, it doesn't matter, blah blah blah. But to some it does. We will still read a book if it doesn't rhyme, but we can't lie. Every time Rachel starts to read a children's book out loud, she starts out reading it as if she's trying to find the cadence to the rhyme. And then it doesn't rhyme. And then Rachel and Layla share an awkward glance as if they are too embarra...more
Amy Musser
The young girl in this book loves to help in her mother’s garden by watering and weeding. She thinks her mother’s garden is very nice, but if she had a garden of her own it would be very different. The flowers would change colors and never stop blooming. The weeds would be nonexistent and the rabbits wouldn’t eat the lettuce because they would be chocolate rabbits! And the girl would be able to plant all sorts of things, like jelly beans and seashells, and they would grow. Although the girl know...more
Scott Pagel
From the first panel, I thought this was going to be a cute story about a young daughter helping her mom work in the garden. And then I turned the page...

This girl's dream garden is the greatest garden ever! I'd be slightly put off by so many birds filling the air and I'd make my carrots big and the tomatoes invisible, but every other idea is glorious. I especially loved the chocolate rabbits and laughed out loud at the perfect words and tone used to share about that part of the dream garden. Th...more
Tony Lewis

Title:My Garden
Author:Kevin Henkes
Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publishing Date:2010
ISBN Number:978-0-06-171518

Summary:Whimsical story about a little girl who loves being in her mom's garden. she has other ideas however on what she would want her garden to look like and what it would yield. She dreams of flowers that never die and jellybean bushes. The illustrations are vibrant and the prose is easy to follow and fun to read.

Age Level:2-6

Instructional Uses and Student A...more
Nicole Perez
One of my favorite Henkes books, it is rich with bright lively illustrations as he tells the story of a little girl (from the perspective of a little girl) she who fantasizes and gushes about what her own garden would be like if she had one. This is prompted from her helping her mother in the garden. In this story, Henkes illuminates the beauty of imagination and wonder; the main character talks of "flowers that change color just by thinking" about it, the chocolate bunnies she would eat, the je...more
The bold use of color in this book is astounding! I love how Kevin Henkes uses so many different colors to illustrate My Garden. Most of the illustrations in this picture book are full-bleed. A few illustrations are framed by a rough-edge circle. The text is centered on the page opposite the illustration. The story is about an imaginative little girl who helps her mother take care of the family garden. She shows up in every illustration with her pink dress and straw hat. The little girl imagines...more
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library last week.

This is not my favorite of Kevin Henkes' books. The story itself is fine, if not very inspired or even interesting. The test does read oddly -- I'm not sure if you are supposed to read it in the cadence of the almost rhyme that it seems to want to be, or in kind of a jerky rhythm which seems to fit the text and pictures better.

The artwork, of course, is good -- very good, in fact -- but, again, not my favorite of his artwork....more
Maris Digiovanni
“My Garden” is about a little girl who helps her mother take care of her garden. She imagines what it would be like to have her own garden and how much more beautiful hers would be compared to her mother’s. She pictures a magic garden where everything is perfect and she can grow whatever she wants, including, buttons, jelly beans, and seashells. She decides to plant a seashell in the garden before she goes to bed one night to see if a seashell tree will grow. The last illustration in the book is...more
What would a story time about spring be without a book about gardening? This book, at first reading. became my favorite toddler book about gardens. The young girl who narrates the story helps her mother in the garden and then tells the reader about what a wondrous place HER garden would be with huge tomatoes and invisible carrots (because she doesn't like carrots!) flowers in all colors and patterns and whenever you pick a flower another grows back in its place. There are chocolate bunnies and s...more
This book would be better for younger students just because there is not much of a plot to it. You could use this story for a visualizing unit and have students close their eyes and see what the words said in their own minds. You could also use this book dealing with a science lesson about plants and what they need to grow.
Brittany May
Review: With the enjoyment of having my own garden, I know there are kids out there that want their own when they "grow up" someday. With the movement of technology today, kids don't recognize things such as gardening as "fun" in their everyday life. Sorry to say, but video games beats out physical work any day. But all in all, this cute story is a real catch for any young reader.

Summary: This girl helps her mom in their garden, but then decides what kind of garden she would rather have; she wou...more
The lovely, brightly colored pastels used by Kevin Henkes in this book are truly a thing of beauty. The style of illustration used in My Garden is my favorite among the diverse styles that he employs. No other author is better at taking a simple scene, such as the wished-for perfect garden of the small girl in this book, and creating around it a real sense of the wonder and awe of life from the perspective of a child.

There is a lot of good in this spritely, memorable picture book, and it cert...more
This book is unlike many of the Kevin Henkes books that people typically imagine, but it is a sweet story about a girl who helps her mom in the garden. She starts the book by saying, "but if I had my own garden I would..." This is an excellent prompt for K-2 children and could be used in various ways. I am inspired by this book to create our own classroom garden including things from each child. I also love the idea of creating a class book inspired by this story. In my teaching, I like to incor...more
I love Kevin Henkes' body of work: his novels like Sun & Stone and Olive's Ocean; Lilly and her purple purse; Wemberly; Owen; and the more recent triumphs such as Kitten's First Full Moon, Old Bear, and Birds. My Garden continues the beautiful palate and drawing style of Old Bear and A Good Day, but the story stumbles. What should be an exploration of a girl daydreaming about how her garden grows (with patterned sunflowers, chocolate bunnies, and seashells) comes across as selfish. The text...more
Sheeba Virani
This book is a versatile book and can be used in the classroom to reinforce many concepts like gardening, health, imagination etc. The little girl enjoys her time with her mother gardening and gets carried away in her beautiful thoughts. This book makes children realize that dreaming is good for their imagination and it is alright to think about unreal things too.

Once you have read the book to children take the entire group for a nature walk in a garden. Give them each a basket and enco...more
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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...
Chrysanthemum Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Kitten's First Full Moon Owen Wemberly Worried

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