"Textile designer Parker makes her debut with this horticulturally
themed book that counts to 10, and every page seems designed to
elicit an admiring 'Oooo, pretttty.' Dispensing with conventional
garden reference points such as earth, sun and sky, she turns her
spreads into two-dimensional bouquets, strewing blossoms, branches
and vines of no fixed residence against crisp white space; the casual
but firm elegance of the array would make Martha Stewart proud.
There's a similar deliberate artlessness in her flower shapes, but
her utterly luscious colors — lemon yellows, cantaloupe oranges,
lipstick pinks and an evocative range of greens ranging from lime
to deep avocado — lend the pages a genuine vibrancy and visual
depth. After a few pages, the overall effect is not unlike looking
at very nice wallpaper, and the numbers themselves, marked by the
requisite number of garden- loving, fancifully-patterned critters
bobbing and weaving among the greenery ('4 bunnies finding love
in the shade,' '5 dragonflies darting between the daisies') seem
like an afterthought. For anyone who's slogged through a long, gray-brown
winter, however, this may be just the ticket. Ages 4-8." Publishers
Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
dancing with fanciful flowers rendered in bright, broadly brushed
watercolor, this showcases a textile designer's art with successive
scenes of small creatures, from "1 cat purring in the garden"
to "10 butterflies flitting among the flowers." Being
themselves decorated with leaves, flowers and dotted patterns,
the animals blend into their settings enough to offer a series
of small but not overly challenging visual puzzles to go along
with the counting practice. Though captioned by one-liners that
don't always seem to be addressed to children ("4 bunnies
finding love in the shade" being the most obvious example),
this recalls the art of Elisa Kleven for visual exuberance, and
makes a promising young-audience debut. (Picture book. 4-6)
visually stunning concept book is set in a lush, blossom-filled
flower bed. Hidden among the blooms are creatures to count, all
pulsating on a crisp white background. The lively text embraces
descriptive words and phrases like "three dogs frolicking
in the posies" and "six ladybugs tiptoeing along a stem."
Sometimes it is difficult to see the objects to count on a page
because of all the busy patterns in the watercolor art, but children
seem to take this as a challenge rather than as a distraction.
A lovely addition to preschool storytimes about gardens, animals,
and spring.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright
2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Book Club
BOOK CHAPTER BOOK
Reading Level: baby-preschool
Counting in the Garden is the traditional count-up-to-ten counting
book. However, it is delightfully different in several ways. Kim
Parker brings her background as a textile designer into full force
in her stylized flowers in brilliant hues. Her dogs, turtles,
birds and butterflies come in colorful prints so the reader has
to look carefully to distinguish the animals among the flowers.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers will appreciate the figure/ground
study for pre-reading skills. Finally the comfortable size, 11
x 8 inches, and quality paper add to the appeal of the book.
by Tina Velgos
your kids their numbers while getting an early appreciation of
how beautiful the flowers in this imaginary water color garden
are! Then, take them to your real garden and watch their green
thumbs blossom! Create an all-day activity by teaching your kids
the beauty of planting flowers and the magic of counting!
It's like a stroll through a magical, watercolor garden. Each
flower is detailed and softly painted by hand. A burst of colors
of oranges, pinks, reds, blues, and greens burst onto each page.
Quaint as a traditional English countryside garden, this book
lets kids across North America appreciate the beauty of an outdoors
garden while learning their important counting skills--counting
in the garden from 1 to 10!
Is this a girlie book? Quite possibly, yes. It's a pretty book.
It's a book you never get tired flipping pages, despite memorizing
the text several times over! Don't tell your little boy. He is
quite mesmerized by the things that grow in your garden--especially
in the soil! Find a ladybug and cradle her in your hands for him
to explore! Let her fly away and his eyes will grow with delight!
Your kids will appreciate the painted flowers in this book (and
you'll get jealous thinking about your garden which is not quite
that colorful--perhaps a trip to the local Home Improvement store
is necessary after reading this one!).
The author and artist of this book, Kim Parker, is known for her
wonderful textile designs with designer rugs, bedding and fabric
collections famous throughout the US and Europe. This is her first
illustrated children's book and hopefully the first of many!
This talented designer has made counting a lush feast for design-happy
parents (and their kids). Not only does it inspire me to grow
more colorful plants in my desert garden, it makes me want to
take out my watercolors and dabble. Maybe paint another accent
wall in my house--throw away the stencils, ladies, painting by
hand is the real thing!
If you have pre-school age kids, make this book an after-lunch
activity by painting flowers afterwards and braving the real world
and going to Home Depot or Lowe's to choose some special flowers
for them to plant! Bring the palette to life is what it is all
By the way, besides flowers, kids will delight in gazing at colorful
dragonflies, cats, turtles, dogs, bunnies, ladybugs, birds, bumblebees,
inchworms, and butterflies. Ask your child what their favorite
page is, and let them draw their first butterfly and display it
proudly on their bedroom wall. Build on this activity all week
and see what your budding artists can create! Reinforce counting
as they create their own masterpieces.
This will be a treasured book when you feel house-bound. It brings
the outdoors in, without an allergen in the air! Perfect for us
city dwellers who would like to spend more time outside playing
with the flora! But, perhaps stuck with allergies and pollen!
So, dear readers, read this book and get inspired to paint and
garden up a storm! You'll be glad that you did. Thanks, Kim Parker,
for providing the much needed inspiration and your talent. A little
goes a long way. I look forward to reviewing your next book!
the looking Glass Children's Book Review
Lets us go into the garden and see what kinds of creatures come
to visit. First there is a cat "purring in the garden."
Next we see a pair of lovely turtles and after that three dogs can
be found "frolicking in the posies." One by one groups
of animals come to play, meet, and gather in the garden. This wonderfully
colourful and flower filled counting book will give young children
who like gardens and the creatures that can be found in them a great
deal to look at and to enjoy.
By Nicholas A. Basbanes | Special to the Sentinel
Posted June 12, 2005
Summer, kids' books equal fun
Counting in the Garden, by Kim Parker; Orchard; $16.95, 32 pages
(ages 4 to 8): Artist Kim Parker brings her skills as a fabric designer
to bear in this intricately detailed counting book that has the
look, texture and feel of elegant wallpaper. The theme is the garden,
with vibrantly colored creatures waiting to be found among the blaze
of blossoms, shrubs, bushes, bouquets and vines. The one cat is
easy enough to find, the two turtles somewhat harder, but a little
effort will be in order to locate all the dogs among the posies,
all the smooching bunnies in the shade, the dragonflies darting
between the daisies, or the 10 butterflies flitting among the flowers.
Sarah Bryan Miller
Children's books for spring
St. Louis gardens, the hyacinths and daffodils are blooming. And
in the children's book department, there's a lovely new bouquet
of spring titles to be gathered.
Begin with "Counting in the Garden" (written and illustrated
by Kim Parker; preschool to 8; Orchard Books/Scholastic; 32 pp;
$16.95), a vivid and appealing visit to a place filled with colorful
birds, bugs and bunnies, numbered one through 10. Parker's primary
occupation is as a textile designer, and that comes through in fine
style in her first children's book.
By Nicholas A. Basbanes
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Myriad topics add up to summer reading fun
Summertime is playtime, with plenty of room set aside for special
interests and that most reliable standby of all, imagination. Our
selections this month focus on a variety of topics, all sure to
"Counting in the Garden," by Kim Parker; Orchard, 32 pages,
$16.95, ages 4 to 8. Artist Kim Parker brings her skills as a fabric
designer to bear in this intricately detailed counting book that
has the look, texture and feel of elegant wallpaper. The theme is
the garden, with vibrantly colored creatures waiting to be found
among the blaze of blossoms, shrubs, bushes, bouquets and vines,
all of them blending in perfectly with their surroundings. The one
cat is easy enough to find, the two turtles somewhat harder; but
a little effort will be in order to locate all the dogs among the
posies, all the smooching bunnies in the shade, the dragonflies
darting among the daisies or the 10 butterflies flitting among the
flowers. Altogether a clever concept book, nicely rendered.
NEWTON'S BOOK NOTES
Picture books on plants help child’s imagination
By HOLLY NEWTON
Published Thursday, July 28, 2005
Look around you, and you’ll see a sea of flowers, trees,
plants and an ocean of green. This week, I have several picture
books that celebrate the growing season of nature and that will
raise your appreciation to an all-time high!
"Counting in the Garden" by Kim Parker is a look at
what lives in and visits a garden. There are ladybugs, dragonflies,
birds and more. The first page begins with "1 cat purring
in the garden." The page opens up to a full spread of color,
and a 3- to 5-year-old would enjoy locating the cat amongst the
bright blossoms. My favorite page has "9 inchworms inching
toward the petals." Both pages are full of bold flowers.
A child will have much fun trying to locate these small, green
speckled critters as they crawl on thin stems of each flower.
New Stuff for Kids
Fabulous new books for kids of all ages!
Counting In The Garden
Entertain little readers with Counting In The Garden. This beautiful
concept book takes young readers on a journey through vibrant
garden scenes with hidden creatures, including ducklings, puppies,
bunnies, inchworms, and butterflies. Each page allows the child
to count the inhabitants of the garden, from one to ten. Great
concept book for Preschoolers.
Adults Books Central.com
counting among the flowers
Review by Tasha Saecker
Counting in the garden is a wonderful, warm counting book that counts
from 1 to 10. All sorts of creatures from rabbits to bumblebees
to turtles are in the brightly colored garden. Because the animals
are happily covered in flowers along with the rest of the page,
the illustrations add a bit of fun by having kids examine them closely
to find the creatures amidst all the blooms and blossoms. This book
is perfect for reading aloud to children, because it introduces
new words like “frolicking” and “flitting.”
Use it in story times on gardens, insects or spring.