by Robin Gourley

Clarion Books, $16.99, 36 pages

Did you know that the White House has a swimming pool, a basketball court and a movie theatre? It even has a garden. Author Robbin Gourley’s glimpse into this garden is called First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew. The book celebrates a garden known around the world and includes themes of home, family, and supporting local produce.

The history of the garden is fascinating. In 2009 First Lady Michelle Obama invited local kids to the White House to plant what has grown into a thriving garden that feeds the Obama family, staff members, guests and Washington D.C.’s homeless men and women.

American history buffs and foodies will enjoy this book. It is appropriate for all ages. Learn each step taken to create this special garden. The author includes mouthwatering recipes from the White House kitchen including zucchini quesadillas and baked apples. Gourley’s illustrations are watercolor paintings that pop off the page, making each fruit and vegetable come to life. Don’t be surprised if you want to start your own garden. You don’t need the White House’s South Lawn to be successful. All you need is a pot on a windowsill or a little plot of dirt.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin