Mr. Carey's neighbors are always offering him advice on how to rid his garden of the snails that eat holes in his plants. But Mr. Carey mysteriously says, "I see it in a different light." Then one night the neighbors see that the snails make gleaming silver ribbons in the moonlight, and the gnawed plants cast shadows that look like lace.
K-Gr 3-Four people who love to work in their gardens live at the end of Blackberry Lane. Mr. Munsing has seedless watermelons, Ms. Elwood grows pumpkins, Mr. Febold sunflowers, and Mr. Carey has holes in his plants. His neighbors all have ideas on how to get rid of the snails that are causing the problem, but Mr. Carey rejects their well-meaning advice gently, saying: "I see it in a different light." One tranquil night, the sleepless neighbors venture out and discover Mr. Carey's secret-with their glistening trails and quiet munching, the snails make the garden a magical place in the moonlight. In fact, it's just right for sitting on the porch and relaxing, which is what the four friends do. Karas's childlike pastel illustrations done in gouache, acrylic, and pencil are marvelous. They blend perfectly with the text to offer a succinct but beautiful lesson in tolerance and understanding. Mr. Carey's Garden makes a good read-aloud choice for small groups, but its full impact needs to be absorbed one-on-one so that the snails and the details can be seen up close and savored.-Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA