Review Blog

Mar 08 2013

It's our garden by George Ancona

cover image

It's our garden by George Ancona
Candlewick Press, 2013. ISBN 9780763653927
(Ages: 6+) Recommended. Picture book. Gardening. School gardens. With a growing number of schools encouraging their students to be part of the gardening world, preparing, planting and harvesting their own produce, this book is timely. It shows a school community in New Mexico where photographer, George Ancona searched for schools where he'd heard this was being done. The little school he found, ... is overflowing in its devotion to their garden and all it entails. With the help of volunteers and donations from the local community a garden has been set up which draws in classes and pupils, volunteers, teachers and parents to help.
Ancona has taken the most wonderful of photographs, full of story, reminding us of the need for the feel of the soil, to know where our food comes from, to work together.
Weekends and the summer break see volunteers coming to the garden to keep it going for when the children return to school. During the term, the garden is an outdoor classroom, where students learn about the garden and what is in it, helping to harvest the food, and preparing a vegetable pizza to cook in the adobe oven built by a parent.
As a guide to why a school garden is a necessity of life, and how this can be built and maintained, this book is a most informative manual, but even more so, the photographs have a life of their own, reflecting the people who have made it theirs. A wonderful website of this photographer can be found at www.georgeancona.com
'As a photographer I can participate in people's lives... producing something that can be shared and has a life of its own' says George Ancona, and this is certainly apt for this wonderful book.
Fran Knight

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