Flower Garden

by Eve Bunting (Author) Kathryn Hewitt (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In this warm and sunny picture book, follow the progress of a little girl and her father as they put together a wonderful birthday surprise for mom: a window box flower garden. After the pansies, tulips, daffodils, geraniums, and daisies are purchased and dad and daughter take them home on the bus, they're lovingly planted in the window box. Candles on the cake are lighted--just as Mom walks in the door to find her daughter, her husband, and her birthday surprise.

"Wonderful, warm, full-color illustrations present scenes from novel angles, and depict a loving family with a sense of intimacy, sincerity, and joy."--School Library Journal

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Publishers Weekly

A plot about creating a windowbox garden scarcely portends the appeal of this lyrical, ebullient book. On a spring day in an urban neighborhood, a girl and her father visit the supermarket: ``Garden in a shopping cart / Doesn't it look great? / Garden on the checkout stand / I can hardly wait.'' The youngster's anticipation grows as the duo travels home--walking down the street, riding the bus, climbing the apartment house stairs--all the while guarding their flowers. Without contrivance or strain, Bunting's verse evokes the universal yet unexpected felicity of blooming color, and the author throws in a happy surprise at the end: the ``garden box'' is a birthday present for the girl's mother. Hewitt's intimate, oil paintings gain power through imaginative use of perspective and clean simplicity. The illustrations include just enough detail to prime side observations from pre-readers and still keep the focus on the verse. Fresh as a daisy. 

Copyright 2000 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Wonderful, warm, full-color illustrations present scenes from novel angles, and depict a loving family with a sense of intimacy, sincerity, and joy.

Review quotes

"An intimate family portrait."—Parenting
"An inspiration for younger children and their parents."—The Boston Globe

Eve Bunting
EVE BUNTING is the author of many acclaimed books for young readers, including the Caldecott Medal--winning Smoky Night. She lives in Southern California.

PETER SYLVADA's first picture book, A Symphony of Whales, won the Christopher Medal and was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. He lives in Cardiff, California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Clarion Books
Publication date
March 20, 2000
BISAC categories
JUV029000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | General
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
JUV017080 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Other, Non-Religious
JUV070000 - Juvenile Fiction | Poetry (see also Stories in Verse)
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
Stories in rhyme
Parent and child

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