Project Description


In the Garden

by Elizabeth Spurr
illustrated by Manelle Oliphant

Simple and evocative language and charming illustrations describe a boy’s experience in the garden.

In this gently rhyming board book, a young boy creates a garden, one small action at a time. First he digs in the dirt and plants seeds, then he adds soil, water, and some patience. With time, the seeds grow and the boy excitedly discovers what he has helped to make.

Elizabeth Spurr and Manelle Oliphant together create a perfect sit-in-your-lap reading experience for toddlers.

Format: Board Book
Price: $6.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-581-2
Publication Date: 5/1/2012
Page Count: 22
Size: 5-7/8″ x 6-1/2″
Age Range: 1 – 3
Language: English
Lexile: AD60L
Themes: Garden, Rhyme
BISAC 1: JUV051000 JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play
BISAC 2: JUV029000 JUVENILE FICTION / Nature & the Natural World / General


“Delicately illustrated…Oliphant’s illustrations express the passage of time through changes in light…while Spurr’s careful descriptions capture the slow but gratifying process of planting and harvesting.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Subtle, understated spreads complement the powerfully quiet text. The soft lines move just enough to create gentle energy within each frame… With a little water and tender loving care, it’s a pleasure to watch this garden grow.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“With many close-ups and a realistic feel, this has potential to both introduce an understanding of how things grow and be a useful easy reader.” ―Booklist

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“Perfect for preschoolers and toddlers, this appealing story shows a boy going through the steps of planting a garden and watching it grow. Using spare, simple language and a gentle sparse verse story, the beautiful process of making and tending a garden is explored.” ―Midwest Book Review

“The simplicity and size make this the perfect book for budding gardeners.” ―Reading Today

“Vivid, lifelike illustrations with simple one- and two-word phrases tell a complete and satisfying story.” ―Wichita Eagle

“Coupled with the visual aspects of the growing plants, In the Garden earns my recommended rating for the toddler lap reader.” ―Boys to Books

“The author providing poetic words and the illustrator in painting a picture come together to create this darling book about a child and his garden growing and becoming fruitful.” ―It’s About Time MaMaw

“This gardening introduction board book demonstrates the fruitful rewards of caring for a garden using simple rhyme to delight the earliest readers. Fine-spun textural patterns enrich the earth tone illustrations.” ―Picture Book Reviews

“Parents who are nature-conscious will love this title, as will budding scientist families. I’d place it in the basket of any of my STEM teacher colleagues” ―”Practically Paradise” (School Library Journal)

“Delightful…Hats off to Elizabeth Spurr for the words and to Manelle Oliphant for the charming illustrations.” ―Spirituality and Practice

“As a teacher, I appreciate how the pictures are clear and helpful for emergent readers to feel successful when they are reading.” ―YA and Kids Books Central

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Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award —Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2012

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Meet the Author

Elizabeth Spurr holds a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. A former newspaper editor, she is the author of a number of children’s books. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Manelle Oliphant is a graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho and an artist and illustrator. She lives in Utah. You can visit her website here.