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Book Review: What’s Growing in Grandma’s Garden? by Susan Soares

Book Review: What’s Growing in Grandma’s Garden? by Susan Soares

hardback, 24 pages, delightful art sketches in color on every page.

What’s Growing in Grandma’s Garden by Susan Soares is the story of seeing the world unfold through a child’s eyes as he joins Grandma in her garden with lively conversation, humor, and insight about all the discoveries — from carrots to cannabis as food and medicine, from roly polys that eat strawberries to ladybugs that ‘eat bad bugs,’ as well as carving out a special space for Grandma’s medicine, locked in a separate greenhouse with other plant medicines. The child asks why is the medicine separate from the food? Grandma explains they have different purposes…the food helps a child’s brain grow; medicine is for grown-ups’ healing and relaxation. The intent of the book is fulfilled by “helping grownups have a conversation with children about cannabis.”

The story opens and closes with a child’s sense of humor. The child tells us Grandma told him she has two green thumbs. He says, “They look normal to me.”

The story ends with stunning art depicting a serene small garden in full color with trees, flowers, bird feeders, benches, fruits, and veggies, Grandma and grandchild working together. Several kids are playing hide & seek and Grandma’s kid finds a good place to hide in the garden where ‘no one has ever found me.’

Color sketches of art and activity in the garden are a delightful highlight of the book: showing Grandma watering the plants, the kid looking for vegetables to eat and exploring roly polys, Grandma making a cannabis fruit smoothie and putting a topical on her knee when her joints ache. It depicts the garden in harmony with the natural world in full color on every page, accompanying the text for a fuller understanding. The purpose is to reverse Nancy Reagan’s ’80s saying, ‘Just Say No,’ and turn it into ‘Just Say Know.’

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That mission seems to have been accomplished. The child, after another visit to Grandma’s garden, has been won over and tells her,

‘When I grow up, I’m going to have a garden too.