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Book Review: Seedfolks

Book Review

Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman, illustrated by Judy Pedersen (HarperTrophy, 2004)

Ages 10 and up (or younger - see note at the end of the review)

It may be midwinter, but that's a great time to start your garden propaganda campaign, so that by spring the kids will be itching to help you out in the garden. Seedfolks - a slim and utterly charming book about an urban garden, is a great way to start.

The book is 13 interrelated stories all centering on an urban garden in a vacant lot. Each story tells how one character from the neighborhood comes to be involved in the garden. As characters are added with each chapter, they start to interact, so you get the feeling you're slowly meeting the whole neighborhood.

There's plenty of cultural knowledge and garden lore in the book, and stories of how people overcome - or don't - differences in language and background.

This is a good read-aloud for kids even younger than 10, unless you are nervous about your child's reaction to a few adult themes - a couple characters have to deal with brief street violence and there's a teen pregnancy.

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