cover image Home Lovely

Home Lovely

Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13687-1

When Janelle and her daughter, Tiffany, move to an isolated trailer out in the country, Tiffany must spend long afternoons alone while Janelle is at work. Just when the TV and her Barbie doll begin to grow stale, Tiffany discovers something magical by the garbage cans: tiny green seedlings. Imagining trees and flowers, she transplants them alongside the driveway, her hopes of gracious living privately stirred by an article in her mother's ``Home Lovely'' magazine: ``A garden pleases the eye and is a companion to the soul.'' When Bob, the postman, comments on her tomato, melon and potato plants, the girl is devastated. But as the tender plants grow through the summer, so does a friendship. First-time author/artist Perkins fills this convincingly sweet tale with imaginative details and true-to-life dialogue. Pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations show invariably sunny scenes, with further bright spots created by the characters' gaily patterned clothes. A spacious story that allows ordinary loneliness and unexpected kindness to assume their proper proportions. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)