BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Uncle John’s City Garden by Bernette G Ford

TITLE: Uncle John’s City Garden

AUTHOR: Bernette G Ford

ILLUSTRATOR: Frank Morrison

PUBLISHER: Holiday House, 2022


How does this city garden grow? With help from L’il Sissy and her siblings—and love, love, love! A celebration of nature, family, and food.

Visiting the city from her home in the suburbs, an African American girl sees how a few packets of seeds, some helping hands, and hard work transform an empty lot in a housing project into a magical place where vegetables grow and family gathers. It’s the magic of nature in the heart of the city!

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK :   The best kinds of picture books tug at our heart strings. They either connect us to part of our past or they invite us to dream of the future. Bernette G Ford’s book, Uncle John’s City Garden, manages to both for me. In every new home we had to move to during my youth, my mother ALWAYS found a way to grow some fresh vegetables for her children. Summers were hot and muggy in southern Louisiana, but the rewards came with a large harvest of fresh vegetables right before we went back to school. Succotash found its way to our table many times during my childhood and reading this picture brought back memories of those days. Illustrator, Frank Morrison, offers richly drawn characters that stand strong and proud in the face of garden adversity, which help remind me there’s a lesson to be learned in working the land. It also shares the lesson of teaching the next generation anything is possible when one has a strong work ethic…and a lot of elbow grease! A great addition to any library!

RATING: ***** 5 Stars *****


1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

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Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

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Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

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