Hoping for trees or a flower garden, Tiffany transplants and cares for some seedlings that she finds and is surprised by what they become.
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Lynne Rae Perkins was awarded the Newbery Medal for Criss Cross. She is the author of three other novels—All Alone in the Universe, As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, and Nuts to You. Lynne Rae Perkins has also written and illustrated several picture books, including The Broken Cat; Snow Music, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and a Book Sense Top Ten Pick; Pictures from Our Vacation; and The Cardboard Piano. The author lives with her family in northern Michigan.From Booklist:
Ages 6^-9. Young Tiffany moves with her mom, Janelle, to a trailer home that sits by itself, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Summer has just begun, and school is out. Janelle must go to work, can't afford a sitter, and is forced to leave Tiffany home alone every day. Rather than wallow in loneliness, Tiffany busies herself with, among other things, transplanting some seedlings she finds and tending them in the hope they will grow into flowers or trees. When kindly Bob, the mail carrier, admires Tiffany's tomatoes, melons, and potatoes, she is terribly disappointed to learn her plants are vegetables, not flowers. Sensitive to her feelings, Bob soon brings some pansy, marigold, and petunia plants along with the mail. As summer progresses, he also shares gardening tips to ensure Tiffany a healthy harvest. Realistically drawn in pen and ink and watercolors, the illustrations underscore the nurturing theme of the tender story: Janelle and Tiffany's spontaneous embrace at the kitchen sink while doing dishes, their playful outfitting of a scarecrow for the garden, and their experiments with new recipes for tomatoes and melons reflect the genuine love between mother and daughter. Bob's attentiveness reveals one gardener's support for another who's less experienced but eager to learn. Featuring strong, appealing characters, Perkins' first book is caringly phrased and washed in warm colors. Ellen Mandel
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