Hello friends! Our book today is Logan’s Greenhouse, written by JaNay Brown-Wood, and illustrated by Samara Hardy, a lighthearted lesson in produce with a lovely side-serving of disability representation.
Logan is searching his winter greenhouse for carrots; he’s planning to harvest them for his pet play date, where he and his parents will be serving both human and four-legged friends. With the aide of his trusty pet chameleon, Logan searches the greenhouse high and low, comparing the characteristics of each fruit and veggie he encounters with what he knows about carrots – but to no avail. But at the last moment, Logan and the reader (with the help of the chameleon) are able to spot the crunchy carrots, just in time for them to be pulled and prepared for a healthy (and pet-friendly) feast.
Delightful. On the surface, this simple and straightforward story engages readers by allowing them to compare and contrast the features of growing carrots (they grow down from their seed, have textured orange skin, bushy leaves, etc.) with the features of other fruits and veggies growing in the greenhouse. This approach nicely accomplishes educating kids on the growth of various edible garden treats and, with the addition of the illustrations, what those growing plants look like. This in itself makes for a fun read, but what makes the story stand out is its protagonist using adaptive devices, including a manual wheelchair and grabber, without the story centering around it or even calling attention to them. It is exceptionally rare for a picture book to feature a wheelchair user as its main character without the story also being about their disability, so this inclusion of representation is an added treat that makes this title all the sweeter. The length is perfect for an elementary storytime, and JJ enjoyed learning about the produce (and making herself laugh by insisting that ripe oranges could be mistaken for carrots). Overall, definitely one to check out, especially when learning about where our fresh produce comes from. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)