Alice Zucchini isn’t the only one talking. So are the seeds. While still inside their packets, the seeds dream aloud to one another about what they are going to be when they grow up.
From winter to summer, from day to night, from sunshine to storms, Juanita Havill, who has written over thirty books for children, describes a vegetable garden’s life. Her twenty poems are written in a clever way - children will surely learn from them. After reading the rhyming poem Instructions, children will gain knowledge about when and how seeds are grown. From the poem
"Seedlings," they’ll find out weed names and why weeds are harmful to vegetables. And some bigger nuisances come with gardens, too, as they’ll discover in the poem
The author hints at the theme of pollination in the poem
"Sweet Cicely and the Bee" in which a bee proposes marriage to a flower. The author delves into the depths of the garden, too. There is the poem that takes place underground about a worm that uses radishes for lightbulbs. Four lines long, this poem is the shortest in the book. Carrot and potato poems are covered, too.
Some poems are told from the vegetable’s view, as in "Summer Storm" and
"Pea Pod Chant." Some poems follow a story. "Nursery Rhyme" begins by describing a rhubarb forest and ends with the forest being cut down by a giant so he can make a pie.
"The Pumpkin’s Revenge" is the longest poem in the book. At
a full page long, it tells the story of what happens to the ugly pumpkin one autumn night.
Children will have fun reading about Cinderella’s
pumpkin. They will enjoy seeing all the wildlife among the poems: mice, frogs, rabbits and birds. There is also a little girl with wings who seems to reside in the vegetable garden. The way she interacts with the vegetables and the animals in every illustration truly reflects the mood of the poem. Everything is drawn to look realistic, but
contain innocence as well. The colorful ink and watercolor
illustrations really compliment the poems.
I Heard It from Alice Zucchini is a pleasure to read. It teaches, and it also nurtures a love for gardens. A novel way to get children interested in and learning about vegetable gardening.