Lola Plants a Garden

Lola Plants a Garden

  • 1595

By: Anna McQuinn / Illustrated by: Rosalind Beardshaw

How does your garden grow?

Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers.

Lola is a beloved character that continues to shine for young readers. Her curiosity and love of books is infectious. Parents and children love sharing Lola's stories.

Rosalind Beardshaw's beautiful illustrations highlight Lola's close-knit family and how they use stories and books to interact with their world. Lola's brightly colored and growing garden is the perfect surrounding for this bright little girl.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Anna McQuinn, author

Anna McQuinn has worked in children's books for more than twenty-five years as an editor, publisher, and writer. She is the author of more than twenty books for children, including Lola at the Library, Lola Loves Stories, Lola Reads to Leo, The Sleep Sheep (Scholastic), and If You're Happy and You Know It! (Barefoot). Anna leads groups like Leo's at her local library.

Read more about Anna McQuinn.

Rosalind Beardshaw, illustrator

Rosalind Beardshaw loved drawing from early childhood and from a young age decided she wanted to become an illustrator. She studied at Manchester Polytechnic where she earned a degree in illustration.

Read more about Rosalind Beardshaw.

Awards & Honors:

  • Reading is Fundamental's Multicultural Booklist (Grades K to 5)

Editorial Reviews:


Lola wants a flower garden just like the one described in her favorite nursery rhyme, which begins “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.” With help from Mommy and Daddy, she plants seeds and waits for them to grow. Meanwhile, she makes three things: a book about flowers, a string of silver bells, and a little Mary Mary doll. The flowers grow and bloom, but the fun is just beginning. After making cupcakes with Mommy, Lola invites three friends to enjoy the garden, which now includes the shiny bells, little Mary Mary, and refreshments. First published in England, the simple story reads aloud well, while the acrylic paintings use warm colors and rounded forms to depict this engaging black child and her supportive parents. The many young children who love the other picture books in the Lola series, such as Lola Loves Stories (2010) and Lola Reads to Leo (2012), will enjoy watching Lola turn her poetry-inspired interest into an imaginative, child-sized adventure. A rewarding picture book to read and reread.

School Library Journal

Lola loves her book of garden poems. In fact, reading it inspires her to plant her own garden, so she and her mother look at flowers in books at the library, and she chooses her favorites. They purchase seeds, and Lola plants them and marks the rows with the seed packets. While she waits for something to appear, she makes her own garden book and includes her favorite poem, "Mary Mary." Finally, Lola sees tiny green shoots. She watches as her flowers grow higher and higher. Flowers are everywhere. Lola invites her friends for a picnic, because the best part of having a garden is sharing it. This fourth, sweet story about Lola delivers with brightly colored acrylic depictions of an adorable child sharing special moments with her mother, reading books, and patiently waiting for her seeds to grow. Lola's bright, cherubic face shows curiosity, joy, and determination as she completes her project. Large, clear type allows for beginning readers to share the story with their parents. Engaging and inspiring to new gardeners everywhere, Lola is a delight.

Kirkus Reviews

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw's acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother's lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate "Lola, Lola, Extraordinary."

It's gratifying to see Lola's love of books leading her to new experiences.


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

ISBN: 978-1-58089-695-5

ISBN: 978-1-60734-745-3 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-697-5 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 2-5
Page count: 28
8 3/8 x 9 5/8

Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Kindergarten. Standards 1-7, 9, and 10.
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Grade 1. Standards 1-7, 9, and 10.

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Lola at the Library
Lola Loves Stories
Lola Reads to Leo
Old Manhattan Has Some Farms