Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Review: A Child's Garden

a child's garden by Molly Dannenmaier

I just got this book in the mail and have finished perusing it. It's published by Timber Press and I think it's done very well.

I started looking for children's gardening books last fall when I started my 4-H club and started retrofitting the cow pasture into a yard. I wanted something that would approach this subject with the child in mind and A Child's Garden does a great job of this.

She begins with why children need to play outside and how they need to play outside. She relates it back to her childhood of playing in the bushes and streams and with frogs and spiders. It brought me back to my childhood. We had a playhouse, but most of the time we spent outside was in the garden next to playhouse.

She then breaks out how children really play with great chapters: water, creatures, refuges, dirt, heights, movement, make-believe, nurture, and learning. Each chapter has wonderful photos and examples and sometimes landscape plans.

I loved this book and am constantly referring to it as I work to do this in my yard. The only negative I saw was that the example children's gardens were very expensive and usually done by a landscape designer. I'd like to have seen more examples of what people have done on a limited budget.

Next book I'd like to read on this subject - Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. I'm really excited about this one, but it's currently on my wish list.


Kim said...

Both books sound great -- thanks for sharing them with your readers. I'm going to see if my local library has the Louv book. I have really fond memories of playing in the woods as a kid and it pains me that kids these days seem to be moving in the opposite direction from this sort of fun.

Emily Eubanks said...

I've got the Louv big on my wish list at Amazon, but haven't gotten it yet. I'm hoping that what I do as a mom helps to keep them from having nature deficit disorder.