Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Book Information
Rating: Dependable
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781452119366
Pages: 52

Winter is ending and a young girl and her Nana start dreaming up plans for their garden. The spring sun melts the snow, but the soil is still too cold and wet to start planting so they wait while the bugs wake up and start working down in the dirt. As the seasons change, they fertilize the soil, plant seeds, and water the garden while the bugs and animals chew up old leaves, pollinate, and dig tunnels through the dirt.

This book teaches a lot about the role of different bugs and animals in a garden. They break down last years leaves and many lay dormant in the ground through the winter. The book also discusses what various animals and bugs eat (usually each other). While the book is very educational there is little to no story line and may lose the attention or interest of children. The illustrations show little critters crawling in the background and mainly consists of earthy tones. The author also includes extra educational information at the end of the book on many of the animals mentioned in the story.