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Benny In The Garden


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"Benny In The Garden" teaches children not to judge others by their outward appearance; it's what's on the inside that matters.

Benny In The Garden by Matt and Melissa Cooper is a children's picture book about embracing the unexpected and appreciating uniqueness. 

Benny has eagerly awaited the seeds he planted long ago to mature. He gave them the necessary tools to survive: water and adequate sunlight. His hard work paid off, and he could see a bountiful garden full of wonderful colors where a blank landscape once rested. 

When Benny began harvesting his crop, he noticed he didn't grow a typical carrot. His carrots came in all shapes and sizes, and he even grew one with two stuck together. Confused by their appearance and where he went wrong in the planting process, Benny reviewed "Daddy's Gardening Tips." The audience will notice that not every item on the list is garden related. For instance, brushing your teeth and listening to mommy are not. Both are sound advice, and I think children should listen to Benny's daddy. 

As Benny inspected the fruits, they also looked out of the norm. The size and shaping were off. Benny's father told him that even though they look different, it doesn't mean they aren't perfect, just like they were. This is a vital and powerful lesson children need to learn early on. Why? Because somewhere right now, children are mocked and bullied for looking or sounding different. We need to teach our children when they are young to be accepting of people who don't resemble themselves. I found Benny In The Garden taught this lesson in a way small children can understand. 

Benny In The Garden had a beautiful message, courtesy of Matt and Melissa Cooper, and lovely illustrations, thanks Dikshaa Pawaskar. It promotes inclusiveness, listening to your parents, brushing your teeth, growing a garden, and eating fruits and veggies. 

I recommend this charming story for children two years of age and older. 

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The garden is full. It's all so exciting! After growing his own fruits and vegetables, Benny is surprised to see that his crops look different than he expected. Did he do something wrong? A story about embracing the unexpected and appreciating the unusual.

About the author

A husband and wife writing duo, Matt & Melissa hail from the Ozark Mountains tucked into the mountain town of Fayetteville, AR. Matt is an indie folk musician and Melissa is an elementary teacher. They love gardening and exploring the big wide world with their baby boy, Benny. view profile

Published on March 20, 2023

0-1000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Picture Books

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