Water, Weed and Wait

What It Is

Students at Pepper Lane Elementary School are doing a lesson on planting and start a garden in their school’s yard. Along with Miss Marigold, their teacher, they hold a clean-up one Saturday to ready the yard for planting. The school’s grumpy neighbor Mr. Barkley (a.k.a. Mr. Barks-a-Lot) wonders why there’s so much noise in the schoolyard on a weekend. An avid gardener himself, Mr. Barkley joins the group and helps Miss Marigold plan a garden that’s sure to be one of the best in town. With plenty of great tips from Mr. Barkley and Miss Marigold, the time comes to “water, weed and wait.” Then, to celebrate their garden’s bountiful harvest, the class dressed as flowers and vegetables ... even Mr. Barkley, who came made up as a carrot!

Why It’s Fun

Some of the best “spring” memories with my children are gardening, and this book gets everyone in the mood. The story is sweet and the illustrations are very lively and engaging. Included in the book are resources for starting a school garden in your community, as well as a checklist that can easily be used at home, too. However, it would have been nice if terms such as “composting” or the benefit of ladybugs were explained.

Who’s Going To Love It

This is a classic-style picture book that is great for any age child who wants to sit and listen. Most of us could use more healthy eating, fresh air and exercise in our day, and gardening is a great activity to accomplish all of the above. This book may or may not get your kids eating more different vegetables, but it sends a great message of teamwork and health for all ages. With the long weekend coming up, check this title out at your local library or bookstore, and make time to enjoy some family gardening time.

Reading Time

About 5-6 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

8 out of 10

Book Information

Water, Weed and Wait
By: Edith Hope Fine and Angela Demos Halpin; Illustrated by Colleen Madden
Published by: Tricycle Press, a division of Random House Children’s Books (2010)
Approximate retail price: $15.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4 - 7


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