Cover image for Lily's garden
Lily's garden
Ray, Deborah Kogan, 1940-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Roaring Brook Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
A young girl in Maine and her grandmother in California exchange letters and packages which reflect cycles of planting and harvesting in their different climates.
Reading Level:
AD 780 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 65087.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In January, Lily receives a box of fresh oranges from her grandmother in California. In February, Lily sends her grandmother maple syrup from the trees on her family farm in Maine. And so the year goes on through the pages of this warmly illustrated picture book&mdasha calendar of the months, seasons, and holidays seen through the lens of things planted and harvested in Lily's garden.

Author Notes

Born in 1940 in Philadelphia, PA, author and illustrator Deborah Kogan Ray studied painting and printmaking at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

She is the author of eight books and the illustrator of more than 60 books for children.

Among her many awards are the Drexel Citation for Career Distinction in the Field of Books for Children and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant Award for Painting.

Her paintings and prints of landscape and nature subjects have been shown in 42 one-person and hundreds of group exhibitions in museums and galleries. They are in private and public collections throughout the world.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 2. In this quiet picture book, Lily and her grandparents--who have moved from her home in Maine to California--stay in touch throughout the year. Each double-page spread shows Lily and her activities, which are generally related to her garden and other aspects of the natural world. The delivery of California oranges contrasts with the snow-covered Maine landscape in January. In February, Lily and her father tap the maple trees as they begin the process of making maple syrup. In March, Lily plants seeds in pots indoors and, in April, she cuts daffodils and turns the soil in her garden for planting. A typical spread includes a few short paragraphs of text, a double-page picture of Lily's seasonal activities, and a box with an illustrated feature such as instructions for making maple syrup from sap or a list of vegetables in Lily's garden. Ray's appealing illustrations, evidently pastels, use the broad horizontal spreads to good effect, creating a series of warm, engaging scenes of Lily and her family as they interact with the natural world. Carolyn Phelan.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The opening spread of Ray's (Hokusai) well-conceived picture book shows a winter scene and an empty house up the street from narrator Lily's, where her grandparents lived before they moved from Maine to California. Even though they will not be reunited until Christmas, the bond between Lily and her grandparents remains strong, thanks to their shared love of gardening. Ray traces their communications from January to December (one month per spread). As Lily describes the progress of her outdoor efforts, Grandma responds with tips and encouragement. In June, for instance, " `I always loved bunnies. Now, I know why Grandpa sometimes calls them pesky critters,' I told Grandma." The accompanying scene depicts Lily at the moment she discovers the remains of her lettuce, as the cotton-tailed thieves make their escape. Grandma advises, "Ask Mom to put camphor balls around your garden. The smell makes the bunnies stay away." Related sidebars on the left of each spread offer additional information about gardening and related topics: a recipe for blueberry pancakes for August and, for November, a brief history of harvest celebrations. Ray's realistic artwork portrays the way light changes from the fluorescence of winter to the orange glow that blankets the world in autumn. An accessible guide to gardening and a constructive way to cope with an absent loved one. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-One January, after her grandparents move from their wintry home in Maine to California, they send Lily a box of oranges. From February's maple syrup, March's pea planting, and April's daffodils to fall harvest and December's tree hunt, the child goes through the seasons on the farm, thinking about the activities she used to share with them. Finally, the Christmas tree is decorated with the help of her grandparents, who are back for the holidays. Kogan-Ray's soft pastel and colored-pencil drawings cheerfully depict the girl's gentle and bright world. Each spread includes a box with relevant information, such as how to make syrup, pumpkin lore, and recipes for blueberry pancakes and zucchini bread. Team this up with Donald Hall's Ox-Cart Man (Viking, 1979) and Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's A Farm of Her Own (Dutton, 2001) for an engaging unit on New England farms, old and new.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.