Friday, June 14, 2019

Badger's Perfect Garden

Badger’s Perfect Garden
by Marsha Diane Arnold; illus. by Ramona Kaulitzki
32 pages; ages 4-8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2019

theme: gardening, nature, friendship

One spring morning, Red Squirrel found Badger surrounded by dozens of jars.
The jars were filled with seeds. The seeds looked hopeful, just like Badger.

Badger wants to plant a perfect garden. That means getting the soil perfectly smooth. And planting perfectly straight rows. All of this takes a lot of time, but finally Badger’s garden is planted. All he needs is rain…. but then a HUGE storm washes away the seeds.

All is lost. Or is it?

What I like about this book: I love the idea that Badger is planting seeds that he has collected from local plants. And that his friends help him plant the garden. (As a gardener, I have yet to plant perfectly straight rows or get my soil perfectly smooth.)  Having your garden washed away by a severe storm is becoming a more likely event these days, but I was a bit astonished that Badger didn’t head back out and replant.

That doesn’t matter, though, because what happens is even more fun. As most of us know (when we stop to think about it) seeds will grow wherever they find themselves. But what I really liked was that "the seeds looked hopeful!"

Beyond the book

Plant a garden. One year a skunk dug up a section of our yard (searching for beetle larvae). My kids turned the now grassless area into a flower garden. Here are some resources for gardening with kids: How to Plant a Garden, and Gardening Basics (with lots of info).

Seek flowers that are native to your region. Check with your local county extension, or find a list of native plants at National Wildlife Federation and Xerces Society

Go on a flower walk to learn more about what’s growing in your neighborhood. Here’s a list for a scavenger hunt.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. What a fabulous review of this sweet book. I love the "hopeful seeds" in the opening line. That's precious!

    1. thanks -and yes, that line is what really hooked me!

  2. Gardening is quite the learning experience in so many ways. The illustrations are lovely. And I suspect I know what happened to those seeds! This book is quite popular. The San Francisco Public Library has 22 in circulation, and I'm #3 in line on hold. Yay!

  3. What an adorable cover! And I love the suggestion to use native plants in your garden.

  4. This fills my gardner's/naturalit's heart with joy. Adorable.

  5. What a fun summer book for kids. I loved gardening as a child -- my dad gave me a section that was mine. I liked to toss the seeds so that I was surprised when the garden bloomed.

  6. I love the line - "the seeds looked hopeful." Wow. I just planted a mix of wildflowers, without the straight lines & a rain storm afterward. So, we'll see what we get. I reserved the booka t my library. Thanks for reminding me about it.

  7. This is very cute and reminded me to go out and hoe my "winter" garden. Looking forward to spring so I can plant some seeds also. Thanks for sharing.