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.”