Today I would like to share a book that I have been reading to my Kindergarten students all week. I think it is a perfect selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill!
How Groundhog’s Garden Grew
Written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry
Publisher: Blue Sky Press 2003
Audience: Ages 6-12
Themes: gardening, sharing, teaching, science
Opening: Little Groundhog was hungry. “Beautiful! Scrumptious! Irresistible!” he exclaimed as he crept into a neighbor’s lovely vegetable garden. He was nibbling on some fresh green lettuce when Squirrel rushed down from her tree. “Little Groundhog!” Squirrel scolded. “This food does not belong to you. If you take food that belongs to others, you will not have a friend in the world! Why don’t you plant your OWN garden?”
Little Groundhog admits that he does not know how to plant a garden, so Squirrel decides to teach Little Groundhog how to plant a fabulous garden filled with a variety of delicious vegetables. Little Groundhog learns about root crops, perreneals, vegetables that grow on vines, seedlings, and pollination. He is overjoyed as he watches his very own garden burst into life. Squirrel even teaches Little Groundhog how to cook his vegetables, and together they host a feast for all the animals of the forest.
This website includes activities for journaling, learning vocabulary from the story, sequencing events, and writing postcards to Little Groundhog.
Why I like this book: I paired this book with a nonfiction book about gardening for my Kindergarten classes this week. My students are learning about plants and vegetables, and they are planting a vegetable garden in our outdoor learning center.
This book is beautifullly illustrated. Lynne Cherry’s illustrations in How Groundhog’s Garden Grew are similar to those of Jan Brett’s in her many animal books. The book includes miniature pictures of vegetables and insects around the borders of several of the pages, and each two page spread is realistically drawn with attention to every detail.
The themes of this book also appeal to me. Squirrel teaches Little Groundhog to garden, and Little Groundhog learns how to be self-sufficient. He is so proud of himself at the end of the story, and he shares his feast with the other animals from whom he had previously been stealing vegetables. The book sends a great message to readers and it also includes a lot of gardening vocabulary.