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How Groundhog's Garden Grew


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About the Author

Lynne Cherry is the author and/or illustrator of over 30 award-winning books for children. Her best-selling books such as The Great Kapok Tree, A River Ran Wild and The Armadillo From Amarillo teach children a respect for the earth. She lectures widely and passionately about how children can make a difference in a democratic society if they feel strongly about something, they can change the world. She explains to educators how using nature to integrate curriculum makes a child's learning relevant. Lynne's books were inspired by her love of the natural world. She is also an avid canoeist and hiker.
Lynne is also an environmental activist whose books are used to launch campaigns to save land, clean up rivers, save forests, and help migratory birds. For example, her book A River Ran Wild is in most fourth-grade classroom reading anthologies and is used by teachers to launch projects to study local watersheds and to clean them up. Her book Flute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush focused national media attention on conservation efforts to save the Belt Woods in Maryland when she was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
Lynne earned her B.A. at Tyler School of Art and her M.A. in History at Yale University. She has been artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian, the Geosciences department at both the University of Massachusetts and Cornell University, at the Marine Biological Lab, and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and at the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University.


An entertaining, creative story that's loaded with information. When hungry Little Groundhog tries to eat some vegetables out of Squirrel's garden, kind Squirrel takes him under his proverbial wing and shows him how to plant his own veggies to share with the entire animal community. Cherry intertwines the facts and vocabulary of gardening into a believable plot that will keep children reading, and her illustrations are well planned to combine with the text in an unusual way. Expansive spreads showing the animals tending their plots alternate with smaller, framed art. These smaller pictures are surrounded by clearly labeled pictures of various plants at different stages and other related objects. The detailed art continues on the endpapers, where readers can trace the growing cycle of many vegetables. This charming story teaches children about the interplay among all living things, and the good feeling that comes with community participation and sharing.--School Library Journal, February 2003
Little Groundhog loves eating from the neighbor's vegetable garden--maybe too much. Perhaps it's time he planted his own garden and, fortunately, Squirrel is willing to show him how. The two animals collect seeds, store them, and after winter hibernation and spring thaw, plant and tend them. By summer, Little Groundhog is joyfully harvesting and eating what they sowed. And such a plentiful harvest calls for sharing, bringing a wonderful Thanksgiving feast for all to enjoy. In simple, descriptive language, Cherry, author of The Great Kapok Tree (1990), tells a charming and also informative story about plants, gardening, and environmental respect. Her beautiful, full-color illustrations--realistic and wonderfully detailed--often incorporate spot-art borders of labeled seedlings and plants, highlighting a diverse array of wildlife. In an author's note, Cherry describes her own gardening experiences and suggests a few resources for information. Little Groundhog is an endearing character whose awe in the miracle of growth is irresistible; by the close of the story, he has learned the rewards and joy of gardening, as well as the pleasures of friendship and giving. --Booklist, February 1, 2003

Fact and fiction make fruitful partners in Cherry's (The Great Kapok Tree) cheerful account of a young groundhog's successful efforts to plant a vegetable garden. After Squirrel scolds Little Groundhog for feasting on the bounty of others' gardens, the fellow apologizes and admits he doesn't know how to plant his own. Squirrel willingly becomes his mentor, sharing her ample horticultural knowledge as she offers a chatty guide to planning, planting, tending, transplanting and harvesting a garden. Cherry's detailed, impressively precise renderings of the garden's offerings (traced from seeds, through seedlings to final product) and of the woodland animals who lend a gardening hand should easily snare the attention of aspiring green-thumbers; marginalia appear as detailed as scientific notebook sketches, artfully arranged in borders around the main action. The author interjects environmental messages, as when Wren and Praying Mantis strike a deal with Little Groundhog: "If you promise not to harm us with bug spray, we birds and insects will help you with your garden. We will eat the harmful insects that hurt your plants." Youngsters may well find this fledgling gardener's exuberance infectious ("It's beautiful! Scrumptious! Irresistible!" he exclaims as he prepares to share his homegrown food with his friends). If not tempted to grab a hoe, readers are at least likely to view the vegetables on their dinner plates with greater appreciation.--Publishers Weekly, December 16, 2002
Good intentions crash and burn when the ill winds of pedantry overwhelm this story of a garden's year. Here is Little Groundhog doing what groundhogs were born to do: seek and destroy gardens. Along comes Squirrel, loo

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