cover image Inch by Inch: The Garden Song

Inch by Inch: The Garden Song

David Mallett. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024303-6

Musician and songwriter Mallett presents a peppy rendition of a familiar folksong, the music to which is printed on the book's final spread. Rake over his shoulder and brimmed straw hat pulled down to his eyes, a grinning young gardener struts down the path as the refrain begins: ""Inch by inch, row by row,/ gonna make this garden grow./ All it takes is a rake and a hoe,/ and a piece of fertile ground."" After planting seeds, the diligent protagonist-hands folded and gazing at the sky-asks that ``someone bless these seeds I sow."" Though its flat, somewhat muddy palette seems at odds with the effervescence of the song, Eitan's (Sun Is Falling, Night Is Calling) accomplished art exerts a strong pull; her style is at once simple and sophisticated, by turns representational and abstract. Heartwarming. Ages 4-8. (May)