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What is at first glance a whimsical fantasy turns out to be a guide to growing unusually colored vegetables and fruits. The first part of the book contains clearly written, general gardening instructions-planning, ordering seeds from special nurseries, preparing soil, etc. Creasy's approach is organic- pests are dealt with in nonchemical ways. The second section contains specific information regarding each "rainbow crop." A double-page spread shows the seed, plant, fruit or vegetable, a pest that may bother it, and a simple recipe, accompanied by clear, helpful text. In addition to the title plants, yellow zucchini, red chard, purple string beans, multicolored radishes, red popping corn, and yellow watermelon are included. Heller depicts the exotic-looking produce with stunningly bright, clear colors, giving readers an artistic treat as well as accurate information. The picture-book format is unusual for this age level, but just right for this presentation.
--Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME