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Marion Mineau
Illustrated by Veronika Martenova Charles

Windsor (Ont.), Black Moss Press, 1988. 22pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-88753-171-7
Distributed by Firefly Books

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 3 to 7
Reviewed by Dale Simmons.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

"Paul was beginning to hale the snow." Paul, the main character, is looking forward to having his own garden. He dreams of "big, bright and colorful flowers. Roses and tulips and daffodils." Even after the snow has gone, the ground is still frozen and so he must continue to wait.

Anxious to start planting, Paul discovers that it takes lime and effort to prepare the soil. Once the seeds have finally been sown, the young gardener sits by his patch of ground and waits once more. By lunch-time, much to his disappointment, nothing has happened. As the days pass and still no shoots appear, Paul concludes, “How boring!”

Frustrated, Paul plucks the flowers from an arrangement on the dining room table and plants them in his garden. He is upset and angry when they wilt and die. His mother explains that seeds take a long time to grow, that a lot is happening beneath the ground that we cannot see. Root systems must develop to sustain the flowers’ growth.

Young children will be able to relate to this lesson of patience. Colourful illustrations by Veronika Martenova Charles add to the text.

The Flowers is the third book by this author. The Lie and The Red Apples were also published by Black Moss Press.

Dale Simmons, National Library of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
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