Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-This engaging introduction to the work of Will Allen and his organization, Growing Power, should stimulate interest in gardening in schools, homes, and communities. After playing basketball professionally in Belgium, Allen settled in Wisconsin. He bought a Milwaukee city lot complete with empty greenhouses. With the help of friends and neighbors, he improved the soil through composting and expanded the growing spaces. Recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant," Allen has taken his message of growing and serving food locally across the United States and to other countries. Visitors from around the world come to the Milwaukee farm. Larkin's energetic illustrations reflect both hard work outdoors and the delicious results on a table loaded with good food. In a final spread, Allen waves from a rooftop garden to the Statue of Liberty, who is holding aloft a bunch of beets and cradling a basket of vegetables in her arm. His afterword urges readers to farm wherever they are and exudes the enthusiasm that has inspired others to join him. Martin includes a fine list of resources to assist prospective gardeners.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Basketball-player-turned-urban-farmer Will Allen is the subject of this inspiring picture book. After spending his childhood on a farm where he vowed never to plant or dig ever again Allen went on to play professional basketball in Europe. While there, he realized that he actually enjoyed making food grow, and so, back in the U.S., he purchased a derelict lot in Milwaukee and began the process of transforming it into an urban farm. He learned lessons along the way, such as the appropriate compost to feed to the red wriggler worms that keep his soil clean and healthy. Allen now oversees an operation that aims to educate and encourage people around the world to grow their own food even if they only have a pot on their porch to cultivate. The idea of farming as a community builder, rather than a solitary vocation, comes across clearly in the book. Martin's spare, purposeful language covers a great deal of territory, and a large time frame, but it never overwhelms or sounds preachy. The illustrations represent diverse individuals working together and enjoying the bounty of their labor. An amiable note from Will Allen concludes, as well as a list of resources to help kids start their own gardens.--Dean, Kara Copyright 2010 Booklist