Pinfold, Levi Greenling, PICTUREBOOK. Candlewick (Templar Books) 2015. $17.99.
When Mr. Barleycorn finds a strange baby in a giant flower in a culvert on his property and brings the baby home, things are never the same at the Barleycorn home. Mrs. Barleycorn does not like the green baby from the start, and after the first night, when her kitchen is invaded by vines and fruits and vegetables and greenery, she insists he be sent back to the earth where he came from. But by the next day, when the train is stopped due to all the vines on the tracks and the passengers are angry, Mrs. Barleycorn feels as Mr. Barleycorn does. It’s a baby.
The illustrations are amazing. This is a book that you can easily get lost in looking at the pictures. The baby (while green) is adorable, the detail, facial expressions, color choices; so beautiful, yet kind of creepy. I’m not sure I’d read this to a small child. It’s more for a middle grade reader - the message of ecology and how nature can bring a community together. The text is not great. The poetry lacks a predictable meter, and some of the rhymes are close. The story is OK. What powers does a child picked from a flower have? EL (K-3)- OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian