It wouldn't be proper unless I began with a special acknowledgment of my talented co-writer, Courtney Carbone. She always knew the right words to use at the right time, and her attention to detail made all the difference. Also, our illustrator, Katya Longhiwhose whimsical drawings have captured everyone's imagination. Thank you, Katya, for bringing my world to life.
On the first day of school, the Bloomers are given an assignment by their headmaster, Professor Sage. They have to learn how to grow their own food. This is a task that they are not enthusiastic about because it sounds like a lot of work and not terribly fun. But, Professor Sage is a wise teacher who knows how to sneak in a lesson.
The next day they are transported into a magical Garden Party with twinkling lights, honey cakes, streamers and ribbons, and best of all, many games and prizes. What the Bloomers don’t realize, is that they are learning everything they need to know to garden, with every game that Professor Sage has planned. What games do you think the Bloomers did that would teach them how to garden?
Next up is a contest to see who can grow the BEST vegetable...
Pete Moss and the Super Strong Spinach Pete Moss wants to be an athlete. He wants to be stronger than everyone. When Professor Sage announces the vegetable contest, Pete goes to the library and leafs through all the books to see if any of the vegetables appeal to him. None do. Actually, he doesn’t like vegetables at all. He likes bread more.
Then something jumps out at him. In fine print under a vegetable called spinach, it says that one serving has a lot of iron. Iron is a very important nutrient that helps make you strong. Wow! That would definitely make him the strongest bloomer in the classroom. He might be even stronger than Big Red who is a tree!!! He looks up in wonder, "I think I've discovered the secret to being a great athlete," he says to himself. But, if Pete Moss grows spinach, will it really make him stronger?
Rosey Posey and the Perfectly Pink Radish
To Rosey, the best vegetable means only one thing... a pink vegetable. She looks through Professor Sage’s books and sees that radishes are pink. Also, since Rosey is “unenthusiastic” about any kind of work, she thinks that a radish will be easier because they grow quickly, they don’t have many garden foes, and you can eat them raw which means... no cooking. The best part is, she can plant it in a pink pot and grow it on her bedroom windowsill and doesn’t have to walk all the way down to the garden every day, which looks very far away. That settles it. She decides on radishes.
But as her radish is growing, Rosey looks out her window at all the other Bloomers! who seem to be having great fun designing and planting and taking care of their vegetables. She feels left out. But what can she do?
Big Red and the Terrible Tomato Hornworm
Big Red is big. And that means he eats a lot. And his food his really important to him. When Professor Sage announces the veggie challenge, Big Red knows right away what he wants to plant. He wants to plant tomatoes because they are in all his favorite foods: spaghetti, pizza and ketchup!
But after planting and taking really good care of his tomatoes, he notices a giant, plump, gross green worm that is eating his tomatoes. "Who are you?!" Big Red asked.
What do you think will happen? Will Big Red find a way to get rid of Hornworm? Or will Hornworm eat all of his tomatoes?
Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem
“Hello everyone. My name is Violet, and I am a Violet, and my favorite color is violet, so I think I will grow an eggplant because it is violet. And I will paint pictures of it while it is growing because I am a great artist.” She looks at Professor Sage and says, “I’m going to need some more violet paint.” Then she sits down. She stands up again to ask Professor Sage a question, “If an eggplant is violet and it is kind of long and shaped like a cylinder, why do you think they call it an eggplant? It doesn’t look like an egg at all!”
Connect with me on Goodreads and ask me questions. Any and all reviews would be most appreciated!
Marianne:I purchased this book for a very special little girl for her upcoming first birthday. I did so because the book is adorable with characters that I am sure she will love. The concept of this book and (as I hear) the others that will follow is pure genius. Teaching children from a young age (why not start on birthday number one???) to understand vegetables and they way they grow and why they are good and can be fun to eat! I can't wait for the next book!!! I plan to purchase the entire series for her! Thank you Cynthia Wylie for such a beautiful idea!!!
John Discala, a.k.a. Johnny Jet of JohnnyJet.com: I know this isn’t a travel book per se, but it’s a great book for kids (ages 4-8). It’s also co-written by a friend of mine, Cynthia Wylie. “Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party” is a beautifully illustrated new book aimed at getting kids to love everything about nature. This is how Amazon describes the book: “Join the Bloomers on a whimsical adventure as they attend a magical boarding school on Bloomers Island. As Pete Moss, Rosey Posey, Big Red, Violet, and their friends prepare for the Great Garden Party, they learn about gardening, healthy eating, and caring for the environment. The treehouse school is held by the arms of Mr. Banyan, a tree about to celebrate his 200th birthday. His birthday party is filled with fun games that teach the curious students that gardening is not at all boring or hard―that it’s actually really fun!” Cynthia was raised on a farm in Western Pennsylvania and she came up with the idea of “Bloomers” as she was raising her own children and trying to get them to eat their vegetables. “One day, I made up little garden characters I called the ‘Bloomers’ who lived in a mythical place called Bloomers Island, where they would grow their own food and eat only vegetables. When my children would visit the family farm they would look for the ‘Bloomers’ while digging up potatoes and laughing with delight in discovery. Naturally, they always ate the vegetables they harvested.” She continues, “After working with thousands of children in our school gardening programs, I observed that over 90% of the students will eat a vegetable if they’ve grown it – even children who had never eaten a vegetable! I learned three important things about gardening with children: 1. It had to be fun for the kids, or they wouldn’t do it; 2. It had to be easy for the grownups, or they wouldn’t do it; and 3. There had to be some mystery involved so everyone would want to do it. The Bloomers’ gardening products took care of 1 and 2 pretty easily. But, how did I put the mystery into it? Simple, I created the Bloomers who lived on a mythical island, deep in the South Pacific so far away that no human had ever set sight on it.” Visit her website at CynthiaWylie.com. Grab it: Grab “Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party” on Amazon for $12.32. Read more at: https://www.johnnyjet.com/book-teach-kids-to-love-nature/
Diana:I was so excited to receive my copy of Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party in the mail today! I grew up in the Midwest on several acres of land and we grew a lot of our own food. I purchased the book as a gift for one of my best friends, a very bright little girl who lives in the city and has not had much experience gardening or playing in the dirt. I know for sure that she will identify with one of the colorful Bloomers characters - Daisy is my favorite but I'm guessing my friend will like Rosey Posey! My hope is that this beautifully illustrated book will inspire my young friend and her family to grow vegetables in their yard. I truly believe that if we encourage kids to go out and play in the dirt and plant their own food they will not only want to eat their vegetables but, more importantly, they will become curious about the Earth and become her caretakers and protectors. Thank you - a very timely book!!!! The Red Coat Writer
Ann L: Gardening Made Fun. This book is fun, educational and beautifully illustrated.What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to share it with my Granddaughter. This will now be my go to gift along with VeggiePOPS! and the Veggie Starter Kits from Bloomers Island.
Whitney M: Great book to get kids into gardening and learning about healthy foods. The characters are adorable and super fun.
M. Welch: Amazing book. Kids Love it and school has copy too.
Vivien K: My daughter loves this book. She has just started preschool so she is really responding to the classroom scenes. It is great to find a kids book that moves beyond the cliche of talking animals... why not talking vegetables! A super positive and fun book for kids.
Damon D: Lovable characters with a positive message. Bloomers is the best Kid Friendly brand I've seen and kids not only love the characters they are learning real life lessons from the great storytelling. Legacy Mentor.
Phyllis W: This book is entertaining and educational. I have 7 great-grandkids and live on a farm. I bought each of them a book so they could learn something about growing their own food. But it is about so much more than that. They fell in love with the Bloomers characters which are full of great lessons and even greater fun. I highly recommend!