Review of Anywhere Farm

root_anywhere farmAnywhere Farm
by Phyllis Root; illus. by G. Brian Karas
Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.
3/17    978-0-7636-7499-1    $16.99    g

“For an anywhere farm, / here’s all that you need: / soil / and sunshine, / some water, / a seed.” Root’s upbeat Green Eggs and Ham–esque rhyming text details all the places one can grow things: “Plant a farm in a crate! / Plant a farm in a cup! / In a box on a balcony / ten stories up! / Plant a farm in a truck! / In a box on a bike! / Plant an anywhere farm / anywhere that you like.” The book then goes on to suggest what one might plant (“Kale in a pail. / Corn in a horn”) and who might come to visit one’s “anywhere farm” (bees, butterflies, birds — and neighbors). Karas’s mixed-media illustrations focus on one little girl who starts everything off with a single plant but eventually include a whole neighborhood that participates in transforming a barren urban space into a lush, flourishing garden. The diverse cast features a variety of skin colors as well as an infant-toting dad, a man in a wheelchair, and a bunch of pets; the group includes active children, old people content just to sit in a chair in the sunshine, and everyone in between. Inspiring and empowering; friendly and inviting.

From the March/April 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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