Anywhere Farm — Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Anywhere Farm

Author: Phyllis Root

Illustrator: G. Brian Karas

Publisher: Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2017

Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 4 to 8

Themes/Topics: Nature/Gardens, Neighbors

Opening Sentences: For an anywhere farm, here’s all that you need: soil and sunshine, some water, a seed.

Synopsis: In simple, delightful verse and equally simple, delightful illustrations, Phyllis Root and Brian Karas show kids that they can grow their own “farm” or garden anywhere, in pretty much any kind of container. Indoors or outdoors, in a community plot or an old teapot, you can grow “kale in a pail” or “corn in a horn” – as she says, “plant whatever you please.

Although the anywhere farm starts out as a solitary project, it soon blossoms (pun intended). Butterflies or bees, ladybugs, birds – your anywhere farm might have some cool visitors. And an anywhere farm attracts people, too. An anywhere farm can become an anyone farm, with neighbors working together to grow and share vegetables, flowers, and friendship.

It may seem odd to share a book about gardening when those of us in the Northern hemisphere are looking toward winter, but an anywhere farm can be an anytime farm, too. A container garden can live by a window indoors just as well as in a plot in the ground.

The possibilities for growth are endless!

Activities/Resources: Make your own anywhere farm! With a container (Plant pot? Old teapot or coffee mug with a few pebbles at the bottom for drainage? Use your imagination!), and a bit of potting soil, and a seed or two (A carrot seed? A flower seed? A bean? Some herbs?) you can have your own anywhere garden. Then, as the author says, “Your seed with sprout out at its own seedy speed.”

School Library Journal’s Classroom Bookshelf offers more suggestions for activities, including Going on a Garden Hunt, Find the Rhymes, and Readers Theatre.

And I see I’m not the first to share this book – but, since Keila shared it in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring, maybe it’s okay for me to share it in the Southern Hemisphere spring!

Availability: Readily available. Check your local or online indie bookstore!

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

8 thoughts on “Anywhere Farm — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Such an important story for children who have little to no exposure to gardens and think food comes from the store. Community plots are becoming more popular again. I hope it continues. Lovely share at the end of the summer — pumpkin and apple-picking time! Good to see you back at PPBF!

  2. I so agree! A “farm” can be anywhere, can’t it? I grew up on what one would call a farm, but now that I live in a city (and have for many years), I seek out ways to “green” my environment. And it’s wonderful that my city, San Francisco, has other people who feel the same way. We’ve got FUF, Friends of the Urban Forest, helping people green their sidewalks with gardens and trees. We have businesses that apply to the city to make the parking spot in front of their establishment a “parklet.” We have community gardens set aside throughout the city. I can’t tell you how happy “green” makes me. And it’s so good for kids, too. So this book is a great reminder of how they, too, can put a little green happiness in their lives. Thanks for the rec!

  3. I love container gardening & indoor gardening. This book seems like a great reminder that “gardening” can happen anywhere – even in urban areas.

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