Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers' Favorite
Charles E. Majuri, PhD's Growing up Green: A Simple Gardening Book for Children and Adults is a structured activity book for families to use together. In the author's foreword he mentions that he has noticed through counseling individuals there is a lack of meaningful relationships between adults and children and gardening is an activity that can be enjoyed together and help cultivate a relationship. The first chapter discusses the physical, cognitive, social and psychological benefits to gardening. The second chapter focuses on the planning that must be a part of gardening. In the next section there is a month by month guide for gardening; although time cannot be spent in the garden each month, it can be spent drawing plans and preparing for the physical work that will take place in a later month. There are pictures, charts and blank spaces for the readers notes and observations. The fourth and last section of the book discusses how to be successful gardening with children and gives different steps to focus on.
I found this book to be a very valuable resource as it is user-friendly and really hands-on. It breaks everything down step-by-step and encourages interaction between adults and children. Although gardening is often thought of as a summertime activity, Majuri has proven that it is really a year round activity and has outlined what needs to take place each month. The diagrams, charts and tips that are interspersed throughout the book are useful and great additions. For example, Majuri shares "Togetherness Activities" such as ordering seeds and reading a book about gardening. Also, there is a focus word for each month. This is a great idea as they are skills and/or qualities that each reader should strive to have and hope to pass along to their children, such as wisdom, empathy and sincerity. This book is a must-read for families looking to spend quality time together!