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There is something about the magic of planting a seed, watering it, watching it grow and then harvesting the beans or peas or tomatoes -- food you grew yourself and is delicious. If you can teach your kid that magic, the lessons learned will last forever. This is a truth known to author Laura Alary and illustrator Kass Reich both who live in Toronto. They are the team behind What Grew in Larry’s Garden.


Larry is a teacher who teaches lessons of science, problem solving, and community development through his small home garden and the plants he grows at school. At home he is helped by a girl named Grace who lives next door. Together they plant vegetables, battle insects, snails and squirrels, then harvest the tomatoes and keep the seeds. Those seeds are planted in small cups and brought to school for the kids to raise. But the kids don’t keep all the tomatoes. They are tasked to give the tomato plants away with a letter saying why they chose to give that plant to that person.


This technique touches many hearts, including the heart of the neighbor next door to the garden who built a very tall fence that shaded the garden and threatened to kill all the tomato plants. Instead, Grace give him a plant and a letter explaining that in spite of the fence, she hopes they can be friends. The neighbor decides to take down the tall fence and all is well.


This story, set in Toronto, is based on the teaching and gardening life of Larry Zarcharko. This book tell the story straight-forwardly, because their attitude towards problems is, We Can Figure This Out. The illustrations by Kass Reich are full of the colors of a growing garden. One illustration of the garden might include 9 different hues, shades and tones of green. This gives the book the impression of health and growth.  


This is a great book to get a kid age 5-9 ready to enjoy gardening, growing things and being a good neighbor. It was published by Kids Can Press in Ontario Canada. You can buy it from them or by following the Amazon affiliate link I placed in the comment section below. Please help my channel to grow by subscribing and hit the notification bell so you will know when a new review crops up. Your comments would also be much appreciated. Thank you.