This delightfully fun, interactive feast is served up in a clever format: children are asked to guess which fruit or vegetable is described in each of the catchy four-line poems, then turn the page for the answer, where they’ll find an easy recipe featuring the produce to stimulate their appetites.
This sensitively written, uplifting story is based on Janna’s personal battle against breast cancer and is an invaluable resource for families facing similar struggles. Without downplaying the seriousness of this life-threatening illness, the book illustrates the importance of focusing on the positive, acknowledging sadness and worry, expressing gratitude and sticking together.
In January, when Janie learns her mom has cancer and probably won’t be better until “pumpkin time,” she suggests the family plant a vegetable garden:
Watching it grow, and eating healthy veggies, will remind us Mom’s getting better. Then before we know it . . . Hello, pumpkins, goodbye cancer!
They continue to nurture their garden of hope and healing as Mom has surgery and endures chemo, hair loss, radiation, aches and fatigue. Step-by-step, day by day, they move toward their goal with the kindness and support of friends, relatives, and of course, each other. Their harvest time celebration, marking the end of treatment with a bounty of homegrown veggies, couldn’t be sweeter.
Are you lucky enough to have your own vegetable garden this year?
Right about now, I’m envying those of you who are enjoying homegrown lettuce, beans, peppers and zucchini, with the promise of juicy red tomatoes yet to come. Since we moved to the woods, we don’t get enough sun to grow a decent garden, and because of the deer, we don’t have any flower beds or anything.
But I can certainly get into the gardening spirit by reading picture books which focus on the miracle of growth and cultivating a love of nature. Whether you fancy flowers, shrubs, or veggies, you’re sure to enjoy dipping your trowel into these stories.