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  • Michelle Nott

Books are for Sharing

Gardens Are for Growing written by Chelsea Tornetto and illustrated by Hsulynn Pang, published by Familius.


This endearing picture book showcases the lives of a daughter and her father growing up and growing older. Chelsea Toretto’s delightful, rhyming text explains to the reader all the aspects of growing a garden in lines such as:


“Shovels are for turning soil,

and clumps are meant for breaking.

Sunshine is for soaking up, and seeds are meant for sowing.

Raindrops give small sprouts a drink,

and gardens are for growing.”


But the narrative equally celebrates how lives change and grow.


"Porch swings are for quiet times,

while fireflies are glowing.

Sunsets are for fading light,

and gardens are for growing."


Hsulynn Pang' soft watercolor illustrations enfold readers in the evolution of the garden as well as the characters' lives. The young girl subtly grows into a preteen, teen, and eventually a mother. The story beautifully comes full circle with the now grandfather and his grandchild in the garden.


Imagine It!


Imagine an activity that you enjoy doing with a grown-up in your life.

Or, imagine one you would like to try with that person.


Consider the structure that the author uses:

_____ is for ______ (gardens are for growing).


Could you phrase your activity in a similar way?


What tools or materials are necessary? How are each used?


Again, consider the structure that the author uses:

_____ is for ______ (shovels are for turning soil)


Write or say aloud as many sentences as you can. If you can find rhyming words, great! (If not, that’s ok, too – rhyme can be tricky).


Imagine how it looks and feels to do this activity with your grown-up. Draw, paint, or color the scenes.


Imagine all the smiling faces!


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