In Our Backyard Garden

A wide, sunny backyard garden is the setting for this collection of poems about a family's squabbles and joys. In a straightforward, casual voice, a young girl describes simple family scenes--planting a tree, enjoying a picnic, watching Mom trim Dad's hair--that hint at more significant events: the tree-planting is to celebrate the birth of the girl's baby brother, there are romances and family fights at the picnic, and Mom is playing barber "to save money" after Dad loses his job. In these everyday moments, Spinelli contrasts the rhythms of family life and the seasons in spare words. The poems sing with appealing sounds and rhythms.

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