Read Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner Christopher Silas Neal Online


In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit.In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home....

Title : Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781452119366
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 52 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt Reviews

  • Carmen
    2019-02-05 22:13

    Up in the garden, I stand and plan - my hands full of seeds and my head full of dreams.I have a lot to say about this book.It is about a girl (7 or 8) who gardens with her grandma.This is the loose "sequel" to Over and Under the Snow. This is much more "gross" and "creepy-crawly" because it focuses mainly on insects and spiders; unlike Over and Under the Snow which had lots of cuddly and cute mammals....The words are wonderful and I think the beautiful story explains gardening in a poetic way.Up in the garden, carrot plants sprout. Pea blossoms bloom. Wasps are on the prowl, and honeybees visit, legs loaded with pollen.There are things that bother me about the text, though. For instance, Messner refers to cucumbers as "cukes." I don't like that....Let's talk about the illustrations. They are gorgeous, rich and fascinating. There's so much to discover on every page, and Neal does a great job of bringing the outdoors to life.That being said, I was annoyed with Neal's portrayal of the grandma. She literally looks like a 20-year-old with silver hair. She has no wrinkles on her face, she has long, gorgeous silky-smooth legs, she is very sexy. She is a GILF. Now. I don't mind illustrators promoting "sexy at any age," but I feel like this Hollywood version of beauty and unrealistic expectations in re: aging is very sick. There's no way a grandma of an 8-year-old girl is going to look like a smooth, unblemished, svelte 17-year-old. It's VERY important that we teach our children that old does not mean 'ugly.' Seriously. This is a real problem. I have to discuss it with kids all the time. For instance, I showed the film Howl's Moving Castle to a bunch of children. I couldn't believe the chorus of "ew"s and "she's ugly!" that erupted when Sophie gets cursed to be old.I stopped the film. I literally got up, and stopped the film."Listen," I told the children. "This woman is not ugly. She is in her late 80s or 90s! She is not ugly, she is old! What do you think YOU'RE going to look like when you are 85 or 90? Hmmmmm? Old people don't look the same as younger people, but that doesn't mean they are ugly!"Anyway, I hope it sunk in to at least a few little heads. (LOL) This is a big issue for me, and Hollywood is definitely not helping by featuring older actors and actresses who have obviously had a lot of work done on their faces and bodies in order to "keep looking young." I don't need this book adding to that damaging message. You're fucking lucky if you grow old. You should be thanking God (or congratulating yourself) for having survived this long. There's NOTHING shameful about getting old, getting wrinkly, and not being as svelte as you once were. Jeez Louise. ...The book includes an Author's Note in the back which explains how insects help improve a garden. Messner also includes a Further Reading list where you can find more books on this topic. And, just as in Over and Under the Snow, she includes an index in which all the animals (16 in total, mainly bugs) are discussed. For example:You might think of chickens as farm animals, but more and more families are keeping them at home. These backyard pets do double duty, laying eggs for their owners and eating bugs, kitchen scraps, and weeds. Chicken manure makes excellent compost.This is certainly true! My aunt has chickens and one could hardly say she lives on a farm. And you should see the babies and younger children react when you open the coop and let the chickens run around the yard. This is a big hit. And nothing is better than fresh eggs.Actually, this index section is very fascinating and I learned a lot! I learned that pill bugs (roly-polies) are not bugs, they're crustaceans! I also enjoyed reading about Daddy-Long-Legs (some call them Harvestmen) and bats. Oh, and garter snakes! Yay!The end papers are very nice, with black line drawings of different flowers and vegetables.Tl;dr - Although quite different from Over and Under the Snow, this gorgeous book would be a welcome addition to any library, public or personal. Despite my caveats mentioned in this review, I enjoyed the book overall - not only was it gorgeous, but I learned a few things.Ages 4-6Not available in Spanish.

  • KC
    2019-01-29 16:08

    A educational way to learn about gardening, plants, the bugs in the yard, and birds!

  • Carol Royce Owen
    2019-02-19 20:03

    If you don't already have Over and Under the Snow - what are you waiting for? And now as you are ordering that, there will likely be a suggestion to order Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt as well. Do it. These two books are great additions to the 1st-4th grade classrooms, rich with details about the animals/insects mentioned. In this book a young girl is eager to start her garden, but learns that there is much that goes on underneath the ground for the soil to be prepared for growing. In the style of Steve Jenkins, the author shares some factual information about every creature mentioned at the end of the book, so students come away with an understanding as rich as the fertile ground. As a side note, I've used Over and Under the Snow with several grades, and recently created a Readers' Theater in which we tied the factual evidence right into the body of the story. Each student had an animal they were responsible for learning about (using the facts in the back), and reported what they learned as the Readers' Theater went on. I'm sure this book will lend itself to the same, and will fit into our second grades' study of earthworms.

  • Barbara
    2019-01-24 15:59

    Lovely mixed media illustrations highlight the pleasures of gardening, revealing the passage of time and all the activities that are occurring beneath the surface of the soil. From checking the soil for its readiness for planting to planting seeds and plants to harvesting them and then on to the winter again, readers will surely enjoy observing as "a whole new garden sleeps down in the dirt" (unpaged). Anticipating each phase in the growing season adds to the delights of examining this book as do the thumbnail sketches describing the animals that are so helpful in making sure the garden is healthy. I also liked the Author's Note tribute to those unsung heroes whose efforts mean that all gardens are community gardens. This one is a must-have for all science classrooms.

  • Edie
    2019-02-14 20:09

    A delightful paring of descriptions of gardening by humans and insects etc who work below the dirt with their own preparations while the humans work above (and even play with hoses). The illustrations are rich in color and content, lots of browns and greens, close-ups of plants, animals and humans. Very engaging. Back matter gives details about all of the bugs, etc that are described and the final end pages illustrate flowers while the opening ones illustrate vegetables. Lots included here in a very attractive way.

  • Kathryn
    2019-02-16 20:17

    Even I learned some things of who lives down in the dirt. This is a wonderful story of gardening, seasons and all who live there.

  • The Library Lady
    2019-02-14 23:05

    Yo--Caldecott dopes!THIS is the sort of book that should be getting the Medal.It's not trendy--it's a fabulous, non-fiction picture book with enough story to make it readable.And ART! Have you folks noted that your award is for ART?Incredible, detailed art by anaward winning illustrator who knows his stuff.P.S. The "further reading" books in the back? You and yours should take a look at those too. They're also books by people your committee never seems to notice.But then, in the immortal words of Robert Heinlein "A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain."You certainly have met those standards in recent years...

  • Samantha
    2019-01-24 17:17

    A gardening story told from two perspectives: below the ground and above the ground.Back matter includes an author's note, further reading list, and brief paragraphs of information about all of the creatures that appeared in the book.The mixed media illustrations give readers plenty to discover and do a great job of inspiring interest in outdoor exploration, digging in the dirt etc.Highly recommended for use with PreK-2, especially in daycare and preschool classrooms and as a book to supplement nature programming.

  • Michelle
    2019-02-16 18:12

    Although I'm generally not a big fan of the dark, muted color schemes and 70's-style illustrations that seem to be trending right now, this was a very clever treatment of the typical "gardening" theme. There was a nice, lyrical flow to the language and a ton of great information to be found in this non-fiction title. Too complex for toddlers, but might be fun to share with older preschoolers and young elementary grades.

  • Karen Arendt
    2019-02-06 23:17

    The perfect book for looking at a garden from spring until the fall harvest. The alternating pages above (light) and below ground (dark background) give readers a look at both sides of the dirt- the work people do to plant and the animals below that survive below. Included are some additional details on the critters and creatures below.

  • Hapzydeco
    2019-02-04 19:11

    An upstairs-downstairs view of a garden. A grandma shows her granddaughter how life unfolds over the course of a year. Illustrations are a plus.

  • Kirsten
    2019-01-25 17:55

    Absolutely delightful. I love the amount of detail in the illustrations.Notes on representation: The female protagonist and her grandmother appear to be white. No other human characters.

  • Lydia
    2019-02-03 16:05

    Library JournalGr 1-3-Beneath every garden lies a secret world down in the dirt. In this enchanting follow-up to Over and Under the Snow (Chronicle, 2011), Messner explores that underground realm. This yearlong adventure begins early in spring, with a young girl learning from her grandmother that the soil is still too cold and wet to begin planting. The pair make plans while earthworms and insects work in the dirt. As the year goes by, they tend to the garden, weeding, watering, and keeping away pests, and later harvesting vegetables. The illustrations are marked by rich brown earth tones, highlighted by brighter colors here and there (a red wheelbarrow, yellow boots) as the seasons reveal themselves slowly. Spreads detail the often unseen life all around the garden, such as a praying mantis that eats mosquitoes, pill bugs that chew through leaves, honeybees that pollinate flowers, and a garter snake that hunts grasshoppers. Neal effectively uses light and dark to show the contrast between night and day; an image of foraging rabbits by day is eventually replaced by a nighttime scene of skunks "[working] the night shift." Each page invites readers to linger over the quiet text, which gently moves the story along. Back matter includes an author's note and a complete listing of the many creatures mentioned throughout. VERDICT A beautiful, informative addition to any collection.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. thoughts: As I read, I thought about how great this book would be for comparing and contrasting. I was glad to see the review, Frances E. Millhouser, focused on the role of each creature. I can definitely see how this perspective could be incorporated into classroom discussions/lessons about working together.

  • paula
    2019-01-22 16:58

    From the muddy days of early spring through moonlit autumn nights, a little girl and her Nana plant, tend and enjoy their garden. Insects and animals do their part, too, stirring the soil, eating pests and pollinating plants. Kate Messner's vivid descriptions of cool, crumbly earth, hot sun, and summer breezes will have readers itching to get their hands dirty.Reviewed for the Baltimore Sun, March 2015.

  • JennE
    2019-01-21 16:05

    I don't know where to begin. This is so much more than meets the eye at first glance. The illustrations, the story, the time lapse, the beautiful descriptive words, the love that emits from the child and her grandmother, the information, the list of books to read more, the glossary that is SO much more than a glossary!!!!! Why isn't everyone reading this book?????? I give it 10 **********!

  • Stacey
    2019-01-25 20:56

    Loved this one!

  • Rita
    2019-02-10 21:03

    Cute book about the cycle of a garden above the soil and below during the four seasons. Loved the use of personification and prepositions!

  • Amit Tiwary
    2019-02-02 20:12

    This was our first pick of Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal. We came to this book from Kirkus Review. And what a brilliant suggestion it was. This book is so widely recognised and appreciated. And rightly so. This book is so real and helps connect the young readers to the subject they identify easily. It is helping them understand climate, growth process, food cycle, and mystical underground world. Highly recommended.

  • Julie
    2019-02-01 19:56

    This book is very informative, just like its predecessor. I have to say that the last couple pages where the author goes through insect by insect is a fantastic way to present factual material to younger children. Once again, the illustrations are clean and simplistic, but do a marvelous job at "showing" the story.

  • Earl
    2019-01-24 00:08

    I liked Over and Under the Snow a lot but for some reason I was completely enamored with the second book in this nature nonfiction picture book series. This time, a girl and her grandmother are planting a garden. Spanning many months, we see it grow and we learn about the various animals and insects that help or hinder with its progress.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-19 20:24

    “Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt” by Kate Messner with art by Christopher Silas Neal c) 2015I checked this one out after my November 15 review. The book is gorgeous and just makes me long for my garden. I cannot wait for gardening season again!The facts regarding above and below are excellent.

  • Beth
    2019-02-14 16:22

    Messner's use of verbs in this beautifully written picture book is worthy of study, emulation, and admiration.

  • Hannah
    2019-01-19 17:13

    In Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal team up once again (previously in Over and Under the Snow) to give the reader a zoomed-in view into the various critters that live under and in the garden and how they influence the plants that grow there. Messner’s lyrical text tells a story of a girl and her grandmother tending to their garden from the end of winter to the end of autumn—from the blank, brown soil (where there is actually tons of activity deep down, with worms and bugs burrowing) to the bursting forth of greens and blossoms and eventually vegetables and full-grown flowers, until finally the “dry cornstalks tremble, and the wind smells like winter.” Along the way, we are introduced to the critters that hinder the garden’s growth (like June bugs, grasshoppers, and aphids) and those that help (like ladybugs, snakes, birds, and even skunks!). Messner includes more information on each animal featured at the end of the book, along with an author’s note and suggestions for more garden-themed books to read.Christopher Silas Neal depicts the ongoing cycle of life in the garden with so much beauty and a bit of drama—there is the girl playfully trying to catch grasshoppers in her net, and then on the next spread, there is a vicious-looking garter snake, fangs bared, about to chomp down on a grasshopper: “Snap!”. The richly-textured mixed media illustrations help the transition from season to season feel natural and smooth—crocuses bloom, then bees are buzzing, then the girl and her Nana are sweating, wearing shorts and taking a break in the early-summer garden. Have a budding gardener on your hands? Or maybe just a dirt enthusiast? Reading this book will lend plenty of encouragement and inspiration for getting outside and discovering little surprises hiding in your garden. Ages 5-8.

  • Elliott
    2019-02-12 00:22

    "Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt" is a delightful, beautifully illustrated book that teaches about the ecosystem of a garden throughout the year. It begins with a girl and her grandmother beginning to plant a garden. The book describes what is going on in many different parts of the garden, and proceeds to describe how the garden changes throughout the year, as well as what the many creatures in the garden are up to.Each page has a little bit of text about what is going on the garden, accompanied by an illustration. The book touches on earthworms, insects, chickens, compost, leaves and the bugs that feed on them, planting seeds, pollen, skunks, frost, harvesting in autumn, and eating the delicious food that the garden produces. An appendix at the end provides information about each of the creatures mentioned in the book. This is an excellent book for students in grades 1-3. Ideally, it would be read by a science teacher or an adult able to answer questions or expand on some of the concepts that the book only touches on in a basic way.

  • Margie
    2019-02-19 19:13

    For several months now they've been arriving in my mail; tantalizing in their promise of spring. Filled with full color photographs of fruits, vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees, they offer a sharp contrast to bare branches and ground covered with snow. Turning page after page in each of these catalogs marks the arrival of the awakening. The pause is nearly over. Keepers of gardens are already looking for buds on bushes and shoots poking through ground thawing in the warmer temperatures and sunny days. Added voices are joining the daily birdsong chorus. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt (Chronicle Books, March 3, 2015) written by Kate Messner with illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal, a companion to their Over and Under the Snow, explores our natural world in the realm of a garden for three seasons of the year. My full recommendation:

  • Phoebe
    2019-01-21 21:06

    This book provides the perfect way to introduce the notions of ecosystems and communities to children. A young girl spends spring, summer, and fall in the garden with her grandmother, and their gardening activities above ground are described in concert with the exciting things happening down below inside the earth. The author's afterword is particularly fascinating, since she takes the time to formally introduce some of the major players in the standard garden, such as grasshoppers, robins, orb weaver spiders, and ants, and even such helpers as skunks and chickens. Absolutely fantastic. The soft, blocky, old-fashioned art with its array of perspectives is inviting. Kindergarten and up.

  • Laila (BigReadingLife)
    2019-01-20 17:13

    my son is rather taken with this book, and I am too. It portrays a little girl and her grandmother as they play and work in the backyard garden through the seasons. It gives a view of what's happening throughout the year both above and below the soil, all the moving parts and creatures that make the garden thrive. Beautiful illustrations and lovely text. A great book for your littlest garden helpers.

  • Laura
    2019-02-08 18:05

    Lovely! A young girl and her grandmother work in the garden, discovering that their work up in the garden parallels with nature's work down in the dirt. A lovely story that reveals how nature works together. The author includes a note and additional information about the animals included in the narrative. A lovely complement to Over and Under the Snow.

  • Janet
    2019-02-18 23:57

    I am partial to gardening and this book is absolutely excellent regarding the "life cycle" of a garden both above ground as well as below ground in the soil. Also the wonderful concept of the grandmother and granddaughter gardening together is very typical of how many of us were inspired to garden--by observing and working with an older relative. Great book in content and atmosphere. Enjoyed it and it brought back many memories.

  • Juliana Lee
    2019-02-14 20:20

    Spend a year in the vegetable garden both above and below ground. Above ground, Nana and the child prepare the garden, plant the seeds, weed, water, and harvest. Birds, bees, bats, ladybugs, skunks, and snakes all do their part to help the garden grow while below ground the worms, grums, beetles, and ants work in the dirt. Each page shows something that is happening in the garden.