Two Gardens from Kids Can Press

by Jennifer


At 5 Minutes for Books, we are proud to feature books across many genres for children and adults. This week is all about highlighting children’s books, but we’ve also reviewed quite a few nonfiction books in the Health category that you might want to check out.

Read the anchor post to find all of the Fall Festival of Children’s Books reviews and see how you can link up and enter to win the Grand Prize.

Up We Grow!: A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm may be my favorite children’s nonfiction picture book, certainly that’s been published this year. Honestly, the title and cover did not beg me to look into this book, but by the first page, I was hooked (and even better — so was my 6-year-old son).

The book is divided into four sections and opens with Spring telling us “the signs of new life everywhere!” The full page photo on the right is a beautiful picture of a robin on some sort of old red farm machinery — artistic and captivating and beautiful. Under the text on the left there is a picture of a sweet baby goat with her mama (and yes, that’s some good photography if I’m calling a goat cute).

When my son and I looked at this together, we were only going to read one section, but we couldn’t stop without finishing, so we found out about life on the farm in spring, summer, fall and winter.

We learn not only about what it takes to grow crops, but also about the people who have to work the farm.

I loved this book. Deborah Hodge’s informative yet interactive text and Brian Harris spectacular photos are beyond compare. I’m giving it 5 Stars.

The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough has a totally different feel and targets an older reader.

It reads more like a story than a nonfiction book, though it is based on the true story of a family in Honduras whose farm did not yield enough to support their family. When they were taught sustainable gardening, their crops and those of others in the town began to meet their needs.

The title is a part of the “Citizen Kid” books published by Kids Can Press, which is “a collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens. The collection aims to make complex global issues accessible for children ages 8 to 12.”

The Good Garden by Katie Smith Milway definitely does this.

Thanks to Kids Can Press, we have a copy of each of these books to give to one of you (and another set for the Grand Prize winner), U.S. and Canadian residents are eligible. Leave a comment to enter, and we’ll draw a winner on October 2.

Check out our current giveaways, subscribe to our feed, and/or follow us @5M4B on Twitter.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen September 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm

We need to start a garden…I know how important of a lesson it is for kids.


2 jenna September 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Love them. I think my kids would too. I’d love to win.


3 Alison S. September 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Sign me up!


4 Kirsten September 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I think it’s important to add some non-fiction to a child’s book collection. I would love these!


5 Page Turner (Heather) September 25, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I am a reluctant gardener myself, but these looks like good books to inspire my kids and me!


6 Marj M. September 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Gardening teaches children weeds from plants, that plants rely on us for water as well as lets them play in the dirt.


7 Joy September 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

These books look wonderful!


8 Jennifer September 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm

We have a small-holding,s o these are right up our alley!


9 Christina September 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Ah – if only my garden were a little better tended. Maybe next year!


10 Jennifer (5 Minutes for Books) October 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm


You won the picture books! Please reply to the email with your address.


11 Angelyn September 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I would love to have a copy of these books. I like what I have seen from Kids Can Press.


12 Carolyn September 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

What wonderful titles. I’d love to win!


13 nan lara September 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm

we did our first garden this year, thanks for the chance
nannypanpan at


14 Jessica T September 26, 2010 at 11:02 pm

My kids would love these!


15 Some Lucky Dog September 27, 2010 at 4:15 am

I think we’d enjoy these!

someluckydog at gmail dot com


16 katklaw777 September 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Wonderful books…thanks for the great giveaway!


17 Nancy September 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I have to get my hands on Up We Grow – my kids are always asking to plant a garden but we’re yet to make it happen. Instead we appease them with picking tomatoes from our neighbor’s crop (with their permission of course!) and every time we go to the local garden center they are fascinated by everything that’s growing.


18 tennille September 27, 2010 at 5:32 pm

that is one seriously cool potato!


19 Anne September 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm

We had a small garden in the backyard this year, and my son learned so much from it I can’t wait to expand it next year. Would love to share what gardening means to other families as well with books like these!


20 Angela W. September 27, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I would love to add these books to our collection.


21 Casey September 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

My daughter would definitely like these books. She likes to help hubby and I with the gardening (especially the picking and eating…often times before the veggies are ready, but oh well). Thanks!


22 Jaime P September 30, 2010 at 12:03 am

These would be such a great addition to our little library at home


23 Jody October 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I’d love to win and give these to my friend for in her day care. They’d be put to great use.


24 Connie Black October 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Because of the tightness of our wallets, we attempted to grow a garden this year. Didn’t turn out too good, but maybe next year will be better! :)


25 Steph October 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm

My kids would really enjoy these books. We have a few gardens and they have been learning more about plants in Kindergarten.


26 Upstatemomof3 October 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Oh wow!! Those both look amazing. They are such a great way to bring up some really important but often not discussed issues.


27 Natalia D October 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Thanks for this chance to win


28 Debnance at Readerbuzz October 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I’m a judge for Cybils Nonfiction Picture Books. In real life, I’m a children’s librarian in a primary school.

I thought it was time that I added my favorite and most useful blogs to my Google Reader. So I am on a mission today to be-friend and be-follow other children and young adult bloggers, focusing on those who will be Cybils panelists and judges.

Thus I have just be-friended and be-followed you!

Here is my blog:
I’d love to have you stop by and be-friend or be-follow or just say hello.


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