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Flower Garden

Last updated Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Kathryn Hewitt
Date of Publication: 2000
ISBN: 0152287760
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2007

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: A comforting, richly illustrated story about a birthday surprise. An urban African-American girl and her father buy plants, potting soil, and a window box at the supermarket, ride the bus to their apartment, and put together a colorful gift for the child's mother. Rhyming verse carries the brief story, while wonderful, warm, full-color illustrations present scenes from novel angles, and depict a loving family with a sense of intimacy, sincerity, and joy. A reassuring choice for reading aloud.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you do for your mother on special days like Mother’s Day or her birthday?
•  Do you have a flower garden at your house or nearby or at your school? What kinds of flowers or plants can you identify?
•  What do you like about flowers?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where do you go with your mom or dad together? Do you go shopping with them? Where? What do you shop for?
•  In the pictures, what different shapes or colors of flowers do you see?
•  In the story, several kinds of flowers are mentioned. Can you match the names with the kind of flowers?
•  Are flowers involved in any celebrations in your family? [e.g., poinsettias at Christmas]

Craft ideas:
•  Cut different flowers out of construction paper.
•  Volunteers cut small squares of tissue paper. Have the kids put a pencil in the center of a square, then pull the paper up around the pencil. Glue the paper onto construction paper at the center. Glue several of these in a cluster to form a flower. Draw stems for the flowers.
•  Take one sheet of construction paper and cut it in half. With one half, cut out the center to form a frame. With the other half, cut out shapes, either by folding it as though you were going to make a snowflake, or just cutting random shapes out of the center. Glue small pieces of different colors of tissue paper onto one side of the paper cutouts. Flip it over and glue it to the frame to form a “stained glass window.”

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!