Christy Hale logo

LinkedIn Pinterest Facebook twitter35


Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDreaming_Up
THe_Forgiveness_Garden Amazing_Places-thumbThe_Cambodian_Dancer-thumbAntsyAnselCvr
Click on a thumbnail to explore each book.




Our School Garden!
by Rick Swann, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Readers to Eaters, 2012)
Buy this book
New city. New school. Michael is feeling all alone—until he discovers the school garden! There's so many ways to learn, and so much work to do. Taste a leaf? Mmm, nice and tangy hot. Dig for bugs? "Roly-poly!" he yells. But the garden is much more than activities outdoors: making school garden stone soup, writing Found Poems and solving garden riddles, getting involved in community projects such as Harvest Day, food bank donations, and spring plant sales. Each season creates a new way to learn, explore, discover and make friends. School librarian and gardener Rick Swann, in his picture book debut, describes the wonder of connecting with nature and the joy of growing and eating one's own harvest. Award-winning artist Christy Hale captures the brilliant color of the season and the harvest. This is the perfect book to read alone, as well as share in the classroom or with the entire family.
awards • reviews
  • 2013 Growing Good Kids-Excellence in Children's Literature Book Award from The American Horticultural Society and the National Junior Master Gardener Program


"From educational opportunities to building community and friendships, this picture book introduces the rewards of school gardens…Hale's charming, richly-hued, textured illustrations depict multicultural characters and a variety of garden-related activities… Swann's enthusiasm and advocacy will pique kids' interest and engage them…in this informative, enjoyable approach to the subject."

"Our School Garden! draws upon the best parts of what a school garden can be–a place to spark curiosity, explore, work hard, laugh, make friends and deepen academic learning. This book would complement any library for students who are learning where food comes from."
—Kyle Cornforth, Director,
Edible Schoolyard Berkeley

"Seeing a children's book about school gardens is a heartening symbol of our current society. It signifies the exciting fact that parents and kids are recognizing the school garden as a common entity. Our School Garden! by Rick Swann works to spread that shared experience through his unique layout that mixes verse, lessons and history. We enter the story through the character of Michael, who is starting his first day at a new school in a new city. From his perspective, we get introduced to their thriving school garden, his new friends, and the learning that goes on throughout the year….The beautiful illustrative work of Christy Hale lends a perfect visual component to this book, capturing the vibrant colors and dreamy scenes that make up a year in a garden."

"An explosion of color and highly detailed illustrations done in mixed media, combining collaged papers, stencils, printing and paint, greets readers of this account of a school garden seen through the eyes of a new student….The author, a Seattle School librarian, clearly understands how to maintain student's attention….This well designed and informative book would make an especially good choice for schools that are planning or already have a vegetable garden."
— Puget Sound Council for Children's Literature
and Media

"A great addition to school gardening collections and evidence that we all should strive to be effective users and producers of ideas and information!"
—Craig Seasholes, President,

Washington Library Media Association

"Our School Garden! illustrates how gardening builds community, and ties in and enriches all academic subjects. It made me eager to get back into the garden with kids!"
—Karen Ray, School Gardens Program Manager, Thurston County (WA) Food Bank

"A charming story of culture, food and friendship and an inspiring call to action. Every school should have a garden like this one!"
—Jill Ligtener, Edible Seattle magazine

look inside
harvest festivalpill bugspring plant salefound-poem
more, more, more!