Tonia loves to listen to her Abuela’s stories about when she was a young girl. When her grandmother remembers planting a vegetable garden “on my own little square patch of land,” Tonia wishes she too could have her very own garden. Their apartment building is surrounded by cement, but Abuela reminds her that it only takes a small patch of land to grow tomatoes or squash and even carrots. And soon, they have a plan!
First, they speak to Father Anselmo about a weed-filled lot behind the church. He likes the idea of beautiful green plants instead of weeds, and fresh vegetables sound delicious too! With help from her family, Tonia yanks out the weeds and plants rows of vegetables. Each day after school, she and Abuela water the seedlings and pull out weeds that have sneaked in between the plants. In a few weeks, “the garden was green with lacy carrot tops in a row, vines of squash curling on the ground and bushy green tomato plants.”
Tonia loves the garden, but feels sad for all the children who walk by and wish they had a garden of their very own, too. Then her grandmother’s quilt gives Tonia an idea. Together they find little plots of land all around the neighborhood for the other children, and soon the community is full of small garden patches that remind Tonia of Abuela’s patchwork quilt.
With brightly hued illustrations that depict a cityscape full of multiple generations working towards a common goal, children ages 7-10 will be inspired to plant – and perhaps even eat! – their own vegetables after reading this charming bilingual picture book.