Cover image for In our backyard garden
In our backyard garden
Spinelli, Eileen.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
On the day my baby brother is born we plant a tree in his honor -- Haircut -- Baby brother's first look at the night sky -- Family picnic -- Granddad makes use of the handkerchief Wayne Newton tossed to grandmother in 1998 and almost ends up in divorce court -- Aunt Sissy will marry Postman Joe in the spring, here's how they met -- Perfect -- Jack-o-'lantern -- Leaves -- First snow -- Almost Christmas -- Granddad has a cold -- The first crocus -- The morning of Aunt Sissy's wedding -- Aunt Lois learns to drive -- Planting a tree for Granddad's birthday -- Bedtime.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 79506.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.P5457 I5 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3569.P5457 I5 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In this backyard garden,each memory is harvestedlike a giant orange pumpkin,each hardship is weatheredlike a sudden winter snowfall,each relative is nurturedlike a fresh fragile sapling,and love blossoms like flowersall year round.The acclaimed, best-selling author of Sophie's Masterpiece, When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch invites young readers to step out the back door and into a family garden where plants aren't the only things growing.

Author Notes

Eileen Spinelli was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1942. After high school, she worked as a waitress at a local diner, a secretary, and answered phones at an airplane factory. She eventually became the author of children's books. Her picture books include Thanksgiving at the Tappletons, Do You have a Hat, While You are Away, When Mama Comes Home Tonight, Wanda's Monster, Here Comes the Year, A Big Boy Now, and Hug a Bug. She is also the author of several short novels including Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses, Lizzie Logan Gets Married, and Lizzie Logan, Second Banana. She received the Christopher Award for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-5. A wide, sunny backyard garden is the setting for this collection of poems about a family's squabbles and joys. In a straightforward, casual voice, a young girl describes simple family scenes--planting a tree, enjoying a picnic, watching Mom trim Dad's hair--that hint at more significant events: the tree-planting is to celebrate the birth of the girl's baby brother, there are romances and family fights at the picnic, and Mom is playing barber to save money after Dad loses his job. In these everyday moments, Spinelli contrasts the rhythms of family life and the seasons in spare words and a mostly conversational tone that doesn't always sound like a young girl's voice. But the poems sing with appealing sounds and rhythms, and together with Ramsey's expressive, clear line drawings of family, pets, and plants, they have the approachable, intimate effect of a family album. Teachers can share this collection with students, who will appreciate how everyday subjects and familiar family moments can make fine poems. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Through a series of poems with garden themes, Spinelli details a year in the life of a loving, extended family. The book opens with a tree planting in honor of the birth of the narrator's sibling ("Oh, my baby brother,/even the garden spiders/spin you a welcome/on their sun-dotted webs") and concludes as the girl stands in the spring rain ("Here, in my backyard garden/memories twinkle like stars./I can easily/fill my pockets with them"). In between are poems describing family picnics, quarrels, and celebrations. The tone is quiet, and some poems speak to adult sensibilities-a spread of Granddad staking tomatoes features an annoyed grandmother and a selection entitled, "Granddad Makes Use of the Handkerchief Wayne Newton Tossed to Grandmother in 1998 and Almost Ends up in Divorce Court." Still, the verses are filled with the warmth of close family ties. When the girl's father finds a job, everyone rejoices, "I want to hug/the fading/golden light./I do not want/this perfect day/to end." Ramsey's watercolor and oil-pastel paintings bring the characters to life and depict the changing colors of the seasons. This offering will encourage readers to savor and celebrate the wonders to be found in their own backyards.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.