Book Review: Kathy Henderson’s And the Good Brown Earth

Posted September 3, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kathy Henderson’s And the Good Brown Earth

And the Good Brown Earth


Kathy Henderson

picture book in Hardcover edition that was published by Candlewick Press on March 8, 2004 and has 40 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

A standalone picture book for children…and grandmas.

My Take

I love the colors Henderson uses — be sure to pause on the first page with its spread of dried autumn leaves. It’s glorious! The graphics appear to be a blend of watercolor and crayons and alternate between covering both pages and having a lovely amount of white space around them. They’re soft and cheerful at the same time.

Henderson takes us through all the stages of gardening from putting it to bed in fall to planning and playing through the winter. The planting of spring and into the summer tasks of weeding and watering, followed by the harvest.

I very much enjoyed Joe’s side of the “tasks”, and I adored how accepting Gram was of his “contributions”, lol.

And the Good Brown Earth is an opportunity to get the kids excited about helping in the garden…and for parents to see the benefits of letting the kids go wild, lol.

The Story

It’s a year of joy and patience as Gram and Joe work their vegetable patch through all the seasons of the year.

The Characters

Gram is quite the patient and accepting woman, who obviously adores her grandson, Joe.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a very pale greenish-yellow background with a watercolor-like graphic of a grandma hugging her happy grandson out in the windy garden and standing in a waving field of grasses and flowers. They’re both wearing bright cheerful colors. Birds are twittering about. Isolated and laden apple tree branches frame the arcing, flight-like script, that has a lovely brown-to-blue gradient. At the bottom of the cover is the author’s name in a serif font and shades of brown. Just above that is a white bowlful of apples on the left And the Good Brown Earth on the right, garden tools sticking out of the ground.