If you were following us back in March, you may already know how much we enjoyed our lift-the-flap experience with “Whose Egg” by Lynette Evans. Today’s book, “Secrets of the Vegetable Garden” by Carron Brown is similar in the sense that it provides little readers and listeners with information about the natural world in a colorful and engaging format – with a touch of mystery!
The twist, in this case, is that they mysteries are not revealed by lifting the flap, but by holding pages up to the light. Birds who were eating seeds in the garden suddenly flee – why are they flying away? If you hold the page up to the light, you can see…its a scarecrow! What kind of creatures are in the soil under the tomato plant? Hold the page up to the light, and you see…worms! After each mystery is revealed, you can turn the page to read a brief explanation before moving on to the next (the worms are breaking down leaves and bits of dead plants in the soil to make food for growing plants, the spotted thrush hiding behind the leaves is there pecking harmful insects like aphids off the plants…)
This book was a lot of fun, with a particularly attractive look and feel (it’s the kind of book that I see on the shelf and want to pick up). The illustrations by Giordano Poloni fill every other page of the book with bold color, and in between he provides the large black-and-white illustrations needed to create the “shine a light” effect, which I thought made this book particularly engaging. It looks like Ms. Brown has several other “shine a light” books out there – perhaps we will work another one into one of our monthly themes later this year.
p.s. you reveal the mysteries by holding pages up to a light – I suggest having a flashlight on hand.