Reviews for Kid's Guide to Making a Terrarium

Booklist Reviews 2009 September #2
Young people without backyards will find lots of creative ideas in this Gardening for Kids title that focuses on ways to grow plants without a traditional, in-ground space. Despite its compact, slender size, the book is filled with information, which is divided into neat chapters written in a chatty, enthusiastic voice. A Kid's Guide to Making a Terrarium includes a history of the intriguing tradition of creating miniature botanical worlds in glass before delving into instructions for kids to create one of their own. Books in this series feature large type, embedded with bolded vocabulary words that are defined in appended glossaries, as well as crisp color photos on every page, many showing kids working with plants. A final section with suggestions for further reading and hands-on craft ideas adds to the solid appeal. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 November

Gr 3-6--Although the writing in these books is folksy and friendly, some of the photographs are dark, others are blurry, and they seem slapped on the page in an amateurish cut-and-paste manner. The same illustration of a petunia appears in Container Gardening with other sun-loving plants and then in Terrarium, floating disconnected in a border. Good advice is given: wear gloves; wash your hands after handling fertilizer; buy your container gardening supplies at garage sales to save money; put newspaper down when making your terrarium to help with cleanup. Organic Gardening sets forth a compact explanation of the damage caused by the runoff of chemical fertilizer into a river, but the rest of the book offers very detailed and complicated explanations. The comparison table for terrarium plants lists a spider plant in the three-to-six-inch category, which seems an underestimation of its full-grown size. The one-page indexes refer readers to the texts, but the plants listed in the different tables (light requirements in Container Gardening; easy-to-grow vegetables in Organic Gardening) are not included in them. Each title has one or more craft projects. The worm composter in Organic Gardening is complicated, while the painted-rock critters in Terrariums and the rain gauge in Container Gardening look doable. Although Ellen Talmage's Container Gardening for Kids (Sterling, 1996; o.p.) is for older readers, it has more projects and valuable tips. Constance Hardesty's Grow Your Own Pizza (Fulcrum, 2004) has more ideas for organic and container gardens as well as yummy-sounding recipes for home-grown produce.--Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

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