First Garden
by Robbin Gourley

Price at time of review: $16.99
36 pp.
Clarion Books
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780547482248

Grade Level: 3-5

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

The White House is everyone's house and, to a great extent, it reflects the spirit of the nation. So when First Lady Michelle Obama established a community garden on the lawn, it raised much more than vegetables. It heightened the interest of schools and groups around the nation in the value of raising local, healthy foods. First Garden tells the story of today's White House gardening project as well as projects from past presidents, including seeds that came from Thomas Jefferson.

The book combines history, an inviting narrative, and science in a way that elementary teachers will appreciate. Family touches, like the inclusion of Grandmother Robinson in the family and the President's aversion to beets, will make the book appealing to those who don't consider themselves scientists. There's information about D.C. climate, steps to starting a garden, as well as great recipes.

This book is a good choice when beginning a school or community project; references will help students learn more as they progress. This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book is an ideal centerpiece for a center on plants and seeds and a natural springboard for integration with social studies.

Review posted on 1/10/2012

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