cover image Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Eve Bunting. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-228776-4

A plot about creating a windowbox garden scarcely portends the appeal of this lyrical, ebullient book. On a spring day in an urban neighborhood, a girl and her father visit the supermarket: ``Garden in a shopping cart / Doesn't it look great? / Garden on the checkout stand / I can hardly wait.'' The youngster's anticipation grows as the duo travels home--walking down the street, riding the bus, climbing the apartment house stairs--all the while guarding their flowers. Without contrivance or strain, Bunting's verse evokes the universal yet unexpected felicity of blooming color, and the author throws in a happy surprise at the end: the ``garden box'' is a birthday present for the girl's mother. Hewitt's intimate, oil paintings gain power through imaginative use of perspective and clean simplicity. The illustrations include just enough detail to prime side observations from pre-readers and still keep the focus on the verse. Fresh as a daisy. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)