Guest review by Cath Jones
Esther Coombs founded a gardening club at her daughter’s school. She then produced a series of highly illustrated, charming newsletters to help other parents garden with their children. These newsletters formed the basis for this book, Plant, Sow, Make & Grow.
Esther is a professional illustrator and her detailed and quirky illustrations make this book not only informative but beautiful. Her enthusiasm for gardening with kids leaps off the page and it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the book’s design. For instance, the endpapers at the front of the book show seeds and at the end of the book the produce that emerges from them.
As a community gardener I frequently encounter parents who want to grow vegetables with their children but have no idea where to start. They are convinced they can’t grow anything because they have zero gardening skills. This book is a perfect starting point for nervous novice gardeners as it is full of helpful and simple tips.
The book is organised by season which makes it really easy to use. I also particularly enjoyed the facts dotted throughout the text. As the author of picture book Bonkers About Beetroot I thought I knew pretty much everything about beetroot but Esther proved me wrong. I had no idea that beetroot soup (Borscht) had been cooked in space!
Esther Coomb’s book shows that gardening with children can be simple, needs very little specialist equipment and or gardening knowledge. As a community gardener and storyteller this book ticks all the boxes for me. Chatty text, handy tips, fun craft activities beautifully illustrated and full of fascinating facts and vegetable trivia. What’s not to love?
Plant, Sow, Make & Grow: mudtastic activities for budding gardeners is the ideal book for getting little gardeners interested in growing in a fun and cheap way.
Publication Date: March 2019
Publisher: Button Books
Biography of our Guest Reviewer: Cath Jones
Cath Jones is the author of quirky picture book Bonkers About Beetroot and lots of early and reluctant readers. She also writes junior and middle grade fiction. Her life revolves around books and vegetable growing! She loves sharing her stories with children of all ages in libraries, bookshops, schools and especially on allotments.