It’s no secret I enjoy Amanda’s work. She is my colleague and friend, and we both write columns as Proven Winners Garden Gurus. I’ve been a fan of her blog since she started it. She makes me laugh regularly there and on Facebook where she shows the irreverent side of motherhood, and her husband’s quips about life. In all this funny business, though, there is also a tender place, and I see that too.
Amanda is a Master Gardener and landscape designer in the Chicago area. Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You is
her second book after co-authoring Grocery Gardening, and it might surprise you. It is a graphic guide. In other words, like a graphic novel, it uses Amanda’s drawings to tell the story. It is fun.
However, because I am Amanda’s friend and coworker, I didn’t think I could give an unbiased review so I called in reinforcements, my daughter, Bear.
When I started this blog, Bear was eight. Now, she is now nearly fourteen. She is fun, creative and quirky, and saying so wouldn’t upset her unless her posse was standing nearby. Like me, she loves graphic novels, comic books and online videos like Simon’s Cat. Bear is my most artistic child, and I thought she would appreciate Amanda’s work. So, I guess this is still not unbiased, but who cares?
She sat down, thumbed through Kiss My Aster and proclaimed it funny and creative. She said, if she were into plants, the colors, pictures and words would “draw her in.” She is not into plants. None of my children are, but she snorted at the book’s title. She said it was “amusing.” This is high praise from someone who is a teen and preoccupied with her own story.
And, that’s the point. Amanda’s book appeals to that generation we’re all trying to reach, the ones who are younger, especially the 18-30 year olds, saturated with technology. The ones who, if we can reach them, may just be getting into plants. Perhaps, they’ve bought their first home and realize there’s more to life than video games or their cell phones. Suddenly, they long a closeness to nature because it’s novel. Amanda quickly shows them how. Although Bear isn’t in that age group yet, getting them, even younger, to sit down with a book and enjoy the graphics and clever words is a very good thing. You might even teach them something while you’re there.
Like I said above, Amanda has a tender place, and she gets this. Bear and I agree that between this book’s cover is the soul of a gardener, and she knows her stuff. If you’d like to read other reviews of Kiss My Aster, check out my friends below.
Note: Storey Publishing sent me a copy of this book, gratis, for review.
Storey is also giving away a copy of the book on their website starting today and running through February 24 with announcement of the winner on February 25. To win, you must comment on Storey’s blog. Please send me some love here too, but you need to comment there to win.