Joanna Gaines is the co-founder of Magnolia, a home and lifestyle brand that she started with her husband, Chip, in 2003. She is the bestselling author of The Magnolia Story, Magnolia Table, and Homebody, as well as editor-in-chief of Magnolia Journal, a lifestyle magazine offering inspiration for your life and home. The Gaineses, along with their five kids, live on a farm in Waco, Texas, where they enjoy caring for their bustling family garden. Julianna Swaney is an illustrator whose work is inspired by whimsical details of daily life and the fairy tales she loved reading as a child. She grew up homeschooled, which allowed free range for her imagination and interests in folklore, nature, and history. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she illustrates children's books and works in her garden. Her delicate illustrations are created using watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil.
Plants and flowers may grow with abandon in nature, but gardening
is no easy task. In this book about learning from failure, one
family discovers what it takes to care for many kinds of plants.
Four children want to see a small potted fern grow; they water it,
give it plenty of sun, and even talk to it. Before long, however,
the fern perishes owing to its less than ideal conditions. The
children turn to the library and read as much as they can about
what ferns need to thrive. They try again with a second fern, and
they do much better, adding more plants until their garden grows so
vast that it needs to be moved outside. Readers will learn a great
deal about gardens, from seeds to pollinators to soil dwellers.
Even when it is hard or when things do not go as the children would
like, they persevere in the face of adversity. Pastel-colored
images evoke spring, bringing the garden to vibrant life. VERDICT
Elementary school students learning about gardens and the
importance of persistence will enjoy this story. * School Library
Journal Online *
The trials, tribulations, and joys of gardening are brought to light in this entertaining tale of one family's introduction to caring for indoor plants and using that know-how in a garden, from Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper fame. Beginning with a fern that dies after being over-loved and over-watered, four children and their parents study up on what plants require: light, water, and a bit of conversation. Once they feel ready, the family works together to design a fruit, vegetable, and flower garden. As the plot takes shape, the family gains knowledge about seeds, garden critters--both good (worms and ladybugs) and bad (aphids)--and pollinators, including hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Though the family has some trouble with animals eating their produce, they remember that 'every failure or setback teaches us something.' Delicately detailed and engaging illustrations deftly follow the garden's progress. Packed with useful information in an easy-to-understand format, this will help children, and their adults, who wish to venture into the world of growing some of their own food and flowers. * Booklist *