Sunday, January 30, 2011

Children's Book Monday

I have been anticipating sharing this story with you all for weeks!

The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough
by Katie Smith Milway
illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault

I'll admit, I was in an early-winter stupor when I stumbled across this book, and the summerish colors on the cover alone caused me to pull it off the display and peruse the inside cover.

Forget the inside cover. I sat down right where I was and read the entire thing before I stuffed it in a library bag, warmed from the inside out and eager to share the story with my children.

When a struggling family in Honduras has a poor garden crop, Papa leaves to find work and asks eleven-year-old Maria to take charge of their winter garden. She worries that she will not be able to revive it, and worries even more about the coyotes, wealthy loan sharks who take advantage of the poor farmers by paying little for their crops and charging too much for necessities.

But when a new teacher comes to Maria's school and begins to teach the children how to build sustainable gardens- terraces to stop erosion, feeding the soil with compost- she tries the techniques at home and soon, the entire village has *enough* and discovers the beauty of selling their crops at the market, rather than dealing through the coyotes.

And when Papa comes home, Maria cannot wait to show him what they've done...

This story is based on the practices of sustainable agriculture pioneer, Don Elias, whom the teacher in the story was modeled after. His techniques in companion planting, terracing, and compost feeding have helped many, many families go from hunger to having enough. The author, Katie Smith Milway, is also very active in coordinating community development programs in other countries and has even written another book similar to this one called One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference. (It's on our list!)

And as if the story weren't enough, the artwork, the depth of the pictures, the way each page is almost a story of it's own... well, you know...

Happy Reading!

5 fellow travelers shared:

Christine said...

We've gotten One Hen before and loved it. Thanks for the other recommendation, it looks wonderful! Love you!

Emily said...

I can't wait to check those out, Elise! Thanks for sharing.

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing, Elise. I know my boys will love these!

Anonymous said...

I popped over to link for my own post, and YAY! you're back! Happiness! (missed you)

If you wouldn't mind, I'd like your opinion on a series I asked about in my post. Thank you!

And, Happy Children's Book Monday (on Tuesday)!


CB said...

Thank you! I'm starting a book list to save ideas for when my little man gets older!

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