Posted by Venus on Friday, May 29, 2015
Labels: picture book review
Illustrations by Luc Melanson
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: March 1, 2015
Rosario lives next door to a little girl who helps him plant his vegetables every year. One spring, Rosario plants a fig tree which soon bears sweet purple fruit. But when fall comes, Rosario does the strangest thing. He bend it over and buries it in the ground. When spring comes around again they plant the usual beans and tomatoes, but not a new fig tree. No, Rosario unearths the fig tree and somehow, brings it back to life.
Being a city kid, gardening was something that I only understood on a purely intellectual level. At one point I vaguely recall my parents trying to plant a vegetable garden but NC soil (i.e. clay) isn't the most conducive for gardening and we eventually gave up. Fast forward to two years ago, when I planted my first herb garden on my small balcony at my apartment. Turns out, I have a bit of a green thumb. My garden has grown since then and now my balcony is stuffed with Thai Chilis, Cayenne Peppers, Lettuce, Parsley, Lavender, Oregano, Cilantro, Thyme, Sage, Basil, Dill, Rosemary, Garlic, and Chives. If you saw the size of my patio you would be quite surprised by this.
Which is the reason why I have been gravitating towards books with a gardening bent lately. I was fascinated by the information in this one because I had no idea that you could do this to any plant and it survive. Heck, I was surprised when my Chives survived the winter and bloomed. Seriously, I didn't know Chives could flower. There was a lot of great useful information in this one. What I found off putting were the illustrations, which reminded me of bad computer generated pictures. This is a great shame because Luc Melanson is a fantastic illustrator. These illustrations simply didn't work for me though. As I always say though, children aren't art critics (and neither am I for that matter) and don't hold such staunch feelings against illustrations that we adults do.