Home > Book Reviews, Mock Caldecott 2011 > My Garden written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

My Garden written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Reviewed For: PreK – Grade 2

Journal Review / Summary
Imagination grows and spreads from the fertile pages of this book to the minds of young readers. Henkes’s familiar illustration style invites children into a most unusual garden. It never needs weeding, the flowers are ever-blooming, and colors change just by thinking of them (even into patterns). “In my garden, rabbits wouldn’t eat the lettuce because the rabbits would be chocolate and I would eat them.” Jelly beans would grow on bushes. Tomatoes would be the size of beach balls, but “carrots would be invisible because I don’t like carrots!” Intense pastel colors and soft navy outlines bring the perfect garden to life. Colors splash across the pages, matching the enthusiasm of the text. The vibrancy and size of the artwork make this an excellent choice for groups, large or small. A must for every library. – SLJ

Illustration Medium: watercolor paints and ink

Execution in the artistic technique employed:
Looks great.

Appropriateness of style of illustration to story, theme, and concept:
Imaginative and colorful – perfect in my opinion.

Delineation/interpretation of a plot through illustration:
Left side words, right side text for all pages of the REAL garden, vice versa for the imaginative garden.

Delineation/interpretation of a theme or concept through illustration:
Well done. I love the imagination.

Delineation of characters through illustration:
The heavy outlining of the ‘characters’ (sometimes not just people or animals, but flowers too) shows the importance of many of the elements of the main character’s garden, which I appreciate.

Delineation of setting through illustration:
Left side words, right side text for all pages of the REAL garden, vice versa for the imaginative garden.

Delineation of mood through illustration:
Colorful, imaginative – watercolors are helpful to show that with their vivid yet see-through colors.

Delineation of information through illustration:
n/a

Additional Things I Liked:
The colors of the water on the first page when she’s watering the plants.

Concluding Caldecott Thoughts:
Maybe.

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