A Patch from Scratch – Megan Forward – Penguin/ Viking – Published 28 March 2017
Jesse and Lewis want to grow their own fruit and vegies, just like people do on a farm. They’re going to dig and build, plant and grow, and when they’re finished they’re going to have a feast!
There is something so deliciously earthy about this book, from the avocado-green end pages to the beige backgrounds on each page. This book is packed with heaps of content. The story flows nicely as the family first dream about their new veggie garden, then create a plan, begin building the chicken coop and raised garden bed, and start their planting. Everything from composting to companion planting, seed raising to pest control is covered within the story. There is enough information for this to become a wonderful guide for children who want to create their own veggie patch. Jesse even creates his own plant diary. The back of the book also contains information about the history of home veggie patches, where to find more information, the cycle of the veggie patch creation and maintenance and even some recipes to try.
A Patch from Scratch highlights the hard work it takes to make your own veggie patch and the wonderful rewards that come from growing your own food. Sharing seeds with neighbours, buying seedlings from the school fete, and sharing excess produce all feature in this delightful story. There certainly is something wonderful about eating food you have grown yourself, and this is conveyed in the story.
The watercolour images are charming, so it’s no wonder the book has been Short Listed for the CBCA’s Crichton Award 2017. Megan Forward is a keen advocate for art and sustainability, and more information can be found on her website.
I think it is so important to share with children about sustainable living, and especially so when it can be as beautiful and engaging as in A Patch From Scratch.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Picture Books
Themes: Gardening, vegetables, growing, food production, family, composting, sustainability, harvesting, food, chickens.
Reading age guide: Ages 4 and up.
Published: 28 March 2016 by Penguin Viking.
Format: Hardcover. 32 pages.