Updated: July 24, 2013 6:16AM
The growing season is here. Gardens are going in and I am enjoying the trees and flowers. This has never been an interest of mine, except to enjoy everyone else’s productions. At one point in my life, I killed a rubber tree and a mother-in-law’s tongue, both supposedly immortal.
In “Aunt Mary’s Rose” by Douglas Wood, we see how plants can become part of a family’s history. Aunt Mary has a beautiful rose bush and she tells Douglas that there is a little bit of him in it. He studies it carefully but cannot “find” himself at all.
After much looking, we listen as Aunt Mary tells the story of the rose bush. Her father had started the rose bush and asked her to take care of it. He told her how taking care of something growing made it part of you and you part of it.
Then, one day, her nephews came to stay and they helped take care of the rose. One of those boys was Douglas’ father. Then Grandpa passed away and she passed on the story to them. They helped take care of the bush and how it was part of them too.
We watch as the story unfolds and we see how it is the love for family that is the part of the bush that we see.
Rachel Isadora brings us a beautiful version of the song, “There Was A Tree.” With colorful illustrations using collages, Isadora uses an African theme to share the words with us. We watch as the tree is planted, grows and the birds build their nest, lay an egg and raise the chick.
Meanwhile, the green grass grows all around. This is perfect for beginning readers as she uses a rebus for the main words. The reader must fill in the blanks with the words. The repetition will make this an “I can read it” story quickly. The music is included in the back with all the verses as well. Although it really is not needed, there is a rebus key as well.
“They’re mean, They’re green, They’re the baddest beans around!” David LaRochelle tells us “How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans.” Every Tuesday night, Martha’s family had green beans for dinner. Martha would not eat them.
Then one day, a gang of mean beans swaggered into town, black hats and pointy boots. They created havoc in the town. They captured Martha’s parents and tied them up with vines. Martha takes advantage of the freedom to eat snacks and watch TV and play but eventually, it catches up and she has to go rescue her parents. She confronts the beans and threatens to eat them if they do not let her parents go.
Confronted, Martha holds her nose, takes a deep breath and a big gulp and starts eating beans. She rescues her parents and they never have green beans again. We leave Martha eyeing what looks like a bowl of fresh spinach.