Children’s gardening books are usually written by adults, but that’s not the case with Gardening with Emma, written by Emma Biggs, a 13-year-old gardener in Toronto.
I met Emma several years ago at a Seedy Saturday, where her dad, Steven Biggs, a gardener and author, was a guest speaker. Throughout the day, Emma sold her dad’s books, talked about plants, even answered gardening questions. Given her genes, it’s no surprise that Emma found a way to share her passion for growing by writing a book of her own with some editorial help from her dad. “When I was little, I made books by stapling together my garden drawings, and I made signs for Dad when he gave gardening talks or had a table at gardening events,” she writes in the book’s introduction.
The book’s projects are enticing — flower stands instead of lemonade stands, homemade bug vacuums, sunflower houses, giant vegetables, forts made from straw bales. The practical advice on growing food is written in kid-friendly language and covers all the basics. Tomatoes are Emma’s forte: so far, she’s grown 130 varieties. Pretty impressive.
The plentiful photos, colourful illustrations and helpful lists make for an engaging book. I’m sure adults will learn a thing or two, too.
This is the perfect book for anyone hoping their children or grandchildren (ages 8 to 12) will join them in the garden. “Our job as gardeners is simple,” Emma tells her young readers. “Have fun in the garden while we figure out the best way to help our plants grow.” Wise words from a young gardener. Congratulations, Emma.
Winner of a copy of Gardening With Emma
Congratulations to Rita H. of Wiseton, Saskatchewan, who wins a copy of Emma’s new book. Her entry was randomly selected from 359 entries received by Feb. 15, 2019. A copy of the book will be sent by Thomas Allen & Sons who represent Storey Publishing in Canada. Read about how we make a random selection. View past prizes.