Awards for the best in children's garden fiction: I bet you didn't know there were such things. I didn't either. They're brand-new! Two organizations—the Junior Master Gardener Program and the American Horticultural Society—have gotten together to sponsor the "Growing Good Kids: Excellence in Children's Literature" prizes. Junior and I have been working on a compost pile all summer, so we're game for garden books. Maybe we should read the nominees aloud to our compost, which operates under the impression that it is a beehive.
2006 will be the first year for the awards; they'll honor books published in 2005. But the Botanical Powers That Be have decided on some classics, and it's an excellent list. My favorite is Too Many Pumpkins, written by Linda White and illustrated by Megan Lloyd. A grand pick (hee hee) for an October story time, by the way.
Awards aside, if you have a green thumb, or even if you're inadvertent beekeepers like us, Ken Robbins's nonfiction picture book Seeds is mighty appealing. Not too long, just enough text on each page to interest a young child, Seeds features a spare art direction with Robbins's hand-tinted photography. Emergent readers will enjoy reading the large-text headings: "Corn," "Melons," etc. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005)