The Rosy Fat Magenta Radish

Janet Wolf, Author Joy Street Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-95045-9
Given the increasing popularity of gardening books for children, it seems natural--and commendable--that the topic should be addressed in picture books. Both the text and art of Wolf's work, however, seem somewhat static--perhaps an inherent limitation of the subject (though Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup covers similar ground with considerably greater panache). Nora has been eagerly awaiting Saturday, when neighbor Jim will help her plant seeds for radishes ``the color of Nora's favorite paint at school: magenta.'' Nora carefully follows Jim's instructions, but is disappointed when his vegetables become visible and she is left with a ``dirt patch.'' An attempt at suspense--Jim will be invited to Sunday dinner; will Nora's radishes be ready to crown the salad?--is minimal; the growing radishes, after all, cannot be perceived above ground. The bright and cheery paintings, imbued with pleasing childlike perspectives, seem lost without a significant story line to advance. Ages 3-6. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
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