What Will Grow?

What Will Grow? illus. by Susie Ghahremani. 40p. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681190303.
RedReviewStarPreS—This bucolic companion to Ward's What Will Hatch?? captures the magic and excitement of planting a garden and waiting for it to bloom. In simple rhyming couplets, Ward highlights seeds of all shapes and sizes, including sunflower seeds ("Stripy black./Crunchy snack.") and dandelion seeds ("Fluffy, white./Taking flight."). Each short verse is followed by the question, "What will grow?" The sunflowers and dandelions flourish beside peas, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, radishes, and milkweed, along with apple, oak, and pine trees. Ghahremani's striking images, replete with light and texture, are painted with gouache on wood and feature whimsical hand-lettering. The opening pages show "roly, round" peas thriving against a background of soft greens and tans while shining raindrops fall gently to the ground. Woodland creatures like rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and even a fox appear among the verdant greenery in each spread. Four gatefold illustrations will appeal to children's sense of wonder, and informative back matter instructs aspiring gardeners on when and how to sow the showcased seeds.
VERDICT Pair this tranquil snapshot of plant life with Elly MacKay's If You Hold a Seed or Julie Fogliano's And Then It's Spring, and encourage young readers to get outside to do some planting of their own.

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