“I have a garden,” a frisky dog announces. In simple sentences, the dog guides new readers through a bright and lush garden, which is home to a chipmunk, a bird, a bug, and all sorts of other creatures. “This garden is for me,” the dog continues. “No. This garden is for all of us. We have a garden,” answer his animal neighbors. Illustrated in vibrant collage, this deceptively simple I like to Read® book is a celebration of nature and community, plus readers can play spot the dog on nearly every spread.
Barner’s amusing artwork done in paper collage, gouache, pastel, and pencil radiates off the pages as a playful pup shares the wonders of his garden and all of the living things that reside in it. The clear vocabulary and engaging drawings provide the earliest readers with a delightful story. Barner’s use of perspective is precise, and earthy tones warm each page.
— School Library Journal
Barner’s exuberant gouache-and-pastel cut-paper collages feature stylized sunflowers, poppies, daisies and more. A bluebird’s topknot looks like a heart, echoing the shape of the dog’s shiny nose. Pictures and words (delivered in the educational typeface “Report School”) cohere nicely, offering blossoming readers some fresh, springy practice. The bright pictures, particularly coupled with the clearly defined value of the garden as a shared environment, make this a nice choice for preschoolers, too.
— Kirkus Reviews