Persistence and teamwork pay off in this picture book debut by the costar (with husband Chip Gaines) of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, who recounts her family’s gardening exploits. Relayed in the communal voice of four Gaines offspring, the narrative retains its chirpiness even when things go awry, as when the very first plant their father buys—a wispy fern—droops and dies, a victim of the kids’ overzealous watering efforts (“death by overhydration”). In pastel-hued pictures, Swaney (Mermaid School) underscores the young gardeners’ good intentions as they line up, each holding a watering can, to do their part, but they soon acknowledge that “by mistake, we loved that plant to death.” A replacement fern sips from a teacup after library books teach the children that “most plants have good manners and like to sip, not gulp.” The family eventually moves their garden outdoors, where their diligence yields bountiful vegetables and flowers, charmingly depicted in the art, despite occasional interference by villainous insects and “sneaky” animal trespassers. The arrival of a new baby boosts the feel-good quotient of this book about hard work and “everyday miracles,” a surefire hit with the Gaines family’s followers. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/21/2019 Release date: 03/26/2019 Genre: Children's
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