The Southern Bookseller Review brings you half a dozen great books to add to your already teetering bedside stack.  Recommended by Southern indie booksellers, in the belief that there is a book for every reader.


How does your garden grow?


A year ago, while most people were talking about sheltering in place and toilet paper shortages, something else was also becoming hard to find: seeds. Even under a stay-at-home order, one can only watch so many streaming movies. People began to rediscover the pleasures of their own yards, and their own gardens. Across the country seed catalogs and websites found themselves selling out of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and beans.

It is now planting season again, and while life is slowly returning to normal, perhaps “normal” will now include making time and space for the garden. Here are some children’s books recommended by booksellers for the budding gardener:

An ABC of Flowers by Jutta Hilpuesch
-recommended by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

“…incredibly beautiful in describing the struggle of an everyday citizen in Tehran. It’s a great read to spur discussion for those looking for book-club picks.”

Grow Kind by Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser
-recommended by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

“Everyone wants their child to grow up to be kind, but how do you grow a kind child? In this sweet story of sisterhood, friendship and neighbor love, Keiko shares the bounty of the garden she has lovingly tended and finds extra special joy in the delight of others. Grow Kind is the third book in a series that also includes Grow Happy and Grow Grateful.”

Thank You, Garden by Liz Garten Scanlon, Simone Shin (illus.)
— Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

“Rhyming text and vivid illustrations celebrate the joy of gardening with family and friends.”

The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman
— Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

“Bowman’s new novel has everything you could want in a middle-grade book: magic, mystery, relatable characters, and a world you can get lost in. Piper will have readers imagining what their own affinities might be and longing for them to manifest, and the Mallory Estate is sure to inspire hidden world fantasies. I loved getting lost in this story and can’t wait to share it with fans of other kids’ classics old and modern, from The Secret Garden to Harriet the Spy to Three Times Lucky and Nevermoor.”

Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery, Jessie Hartland (illus.)
— Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC

“A joyful book about community, perseverance and good food. Mr. Tony’s spirit and gentle leadership shines through the pages and is sure to inspire young gardeners everywhere.”

The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich, Liz Anna Kozik (illus.)
— Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

“I love how accessible this book is! I think it would be a great first vegetable gardening book for many people. It’s quick to read from cover to cover, but it’s also easy to look up specific topics. “

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Reviews of A Mariner’s Tale by Joe Palmer, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane, Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian, Lobizona by Romina Garber, Jungle Night by Sandra Boynton, Yo-Yo Ma, and Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson.

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