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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” More
Summary: This is a true story about her spending time with her grandmother. With word and music script, Aubyn tells the story of the times she would spend in the garden with her grandmother, the bouquets they would make, and how sometimes they painted pictures of the garden. Music sheets accompany the text so that you can learn the tune as you play/read along. It comes with a CD.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 10 to 12
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Reading Level: 2.1
Age of Child: Read with 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: "This is pretty." Our daughter really focused on the music and the words, adding her own memories about spending time with her grandmother at the end. She was more interested in us playing and singing the story than the CD.
Adult Reader Reaction: Our daughter wanted us to "sing" this book, which meant we had to sit at the piano. I don't know what we would have done without some musical instrument to play it on. This is a nicely tuned song, and the sentiment is very nice, I just wish it didn't have the music notes on the page because as the *reader* you don't get to enjoy the beautiful paintings. [The one that look like scanned images are less effective.] Because it is a song, many of the words/phrases are repeated, and with only a line or two on each page, this has potential for helping new readers.
Pros: Beautiful, colorful paintings and a story told in song make this a creative way to share a book.
Cons: Because the musical notations stare you in the face on every page, if you don't have an instrument, you may want to skip this book. Kids won't be able to help themselves in asking you to sing or play the tune. Just having the sheet music at the back (which it does) would have been nicer.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The pictures are worth spending an afternoon exploring grandmother's garden. You'll want to see the layout to decide if the musical presentation works for you.