cover image Tiny Green Thumbs

Tiny Green Thumbs

C. Z. Guest. Hyperion Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0516-7

In this how-to book in the guise of a story, Ganny Bun tutors her grandson, Tiny Bun, on the ""six things you need to grow a garden."" Brief horticultural discussions between them serve as prefaces to Guest's (a nationally syndicated gardening columnist and magazine publisher) easy-to-follow instructions. The half dozen essentials, explained in accessible terms, are: preparing the soil; planting the seeds (e.g., place cucumber seeds in four mounds, ""at least two feet from one another and about the size of home plate on a baseball field""); watering the seeds; sunshine; time (during which aspiring gardeners can cultivate the garden by weeding, etc.); and lastly, love. ""If you [care for your garden] right, by the end of July, you'll be able to play hide-and-seek among the cornstalks,"" conclude the instructions. The final page makes the rewards crystal clear: the gardeners, as well as a beaver that hides on each spread, enjoy a vegetarian feast. Krupinski's (Where Is That Cat?) elegant gouache and color pencil drawings pulse with the details of blossoms opening and leaves unfurling. Though the characters seem static in a few of the larger illustrations, the smaller vignettes are charming and provide lively punctuation for the gardening guidelines. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)