book cover
Lamba, Marie, and Baldev Lamba.
Green Green: A Community Gardening Story. Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017.  32 pages (978–0–374–32797–2)

Ages 3-7

“Green green / fresh and clean. Brown brown / dig the ground,” begins this story as a group of children play in a grassy meadow and tend to a sprawling backyard garden. Soon, though, “brown brown / dig the ground” takes on  a less pleasant meaning, as bulldozers and trucks begin clearing the land to make way for new buildings. Grass and flowers become stone and metal as the city expands. In the midst of the concrete jungle, what was once a grassy lot becomes a makeshift junkyard. Gardens are reduced to planters on balconies. Then one day, a little girl with a shovel turns the book’s familiar refrain into a question. “Brown brown / dig the ground?” An affirming “Brown brown / dig the ground!” sounds as a diverse group of neighbors gathers in a large lot to remove the litter, till the earth, and plant seeds. The garden they create grows into a colorful, verdant, once-again-sprawling place of beauty in the midst of the city. Sánchez’s illustrations are as vibrant as the community garden that blooms in these pages. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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