Sunday, December 06, 2009

Giveaway: Ginky's Glorious Green Growing Garden

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Rachel, comment #1 for winning.

Have you ever read a book that just filled your mind and soul with delight? A book so artfully written that it just flows off the tongue? Now, have you ever read a children's book that did that?

I have.

Several weeks ago I was visiting with a friend and picked up a copy of Ginky’s Glorious Green Growing Garden. The author was my friend's mother, Tammy O'Donnell, a former educator and current education consultant. From reading this book, it is clear that O'Donnell has a pure love for language and the way it can wrap around our heads to create a vision of another place.

"Ginky’s Glorious Green Growing Garden is the third book in the series, following Grandmommy’s Dress-Up Box (2006) and Grandmommy and the Great Shoe Tadoo (2007).  The first two books are dedicated to the mothers of Tammy and her husband Larry, whose memories the family cherishes and wants to pass along to their grandchildren.

"Ginky’s Glorious Green Growing Garden , the third book, continues to honor those in the family circle by presenting Larry (whom the children dubbed “Ginky”) in the role of farmer/gardener, and the book is dedicated to the memory of Larry’s Hoosier farmer father, Lloyd O’Donnell. Boys and girls alike will be charmed by the antics of the two children, Selah and Asher, who answer Ginky’s call for assistance in tending the garden on an April afternoon:

“They knew garden work leaves you dirty and stinky,
but would not miss a chance to spend time with their Ginky..”

"The trio tends to plants beginning with A and continuing through Z in a family project that draws them closer through hard work and fun as the children develop character and “stick-to-it-iveness”—

“We don’t mind the symbols of hard work done well. The gloves helped a little, but the blisters will tell.
Working the soil proves a universal fact—
Hard work and persistence are still a class act.”

"At the request of educators and parents who have bought the books in the past, Tammy has added lesson plans for using the book to teach higher-order thinking skills and to relate topics to subjects other than reading.  The book also includes a picture glossary for children to reference as they identify plants throughout the book.  And they love to find the mouse hiding on each page!"

Once I had stood in my friend's kitchen and read the book cover to cover, I knew I needed a copy. Fortunately, the friend knew I had a blog and talked her mother, the lovely author, into giving me a copy not only of this book, but her first two books as well. And then, she gave me an extra set to give away to one of you, my equally lovely readers.

One of my favorite things about Ginky’s Glorious Green Growing Garden is the alliteration throughout. O'Donnell really outdid herself with this A to Z book, which is unlike the vast majority of A to Z books I've read with Charlotte. As an example, here is my favorite line from this book:

"Queen Anne's Lace is the Quintessential center
Of a garden that quiets your soul when you enter."

How many children's books do you know that use the word 'quintessential'??? And still manage to be unpretentious? Even though O'Donnell uses big words, they don't seem threatening and can really stretch a reader's vocabulary because context clues do exist to help them figure out the meaning. There are so many more things I could say about this book and the delightful conversation I had with O'Donnell about it, but I know you all really just want to know how to win a copy for yourself!

I have 1 complete set of Tammy O'Donnells' books to give away.

How to Enter: There are four ways to enter and you can do any of them you like, for up to four entries:
  1. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite flower is,
  2. Subscribe to my RSS feed, and leave a 2nd comment telling me you did so, or already are subscribed,
  3. Link to my giveaway on your own blog, leaving another comment with the permalink to you post, or
  4. Share this giveaway on Twitter and leave a 4th comment letting me know you did (copy & paste this suggested text: Win a complete set of author Tammy O'Donnell's books from @FamilyMusings
That's it. 4 ways to win and 1 lucky winner. This giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday, December13. Read all contest rules here. And I promise to pick a winner and ship this out in time for Christmas gifts IF you let me know in the comments that you plan to give these books to someone as a present.

If you'd like to order your own book, or an entire set, contact Tammy directly for a personally inscribed book. At this time, these books are only available from the author directly. Tammy O’Donnell can be reached via email at or by phone/fax at  863-956-8583.

Tammy asked me to add the following - I do like to speak to groups like public libraries, writers' conferences, church groups, nursing homes, etc.  As long as I have an opportunity to sign and sell, and depending on the nature and purpose of the organization, I don't necessarily charge a speaking fee.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    These books look great! I'd love to get a set for the girls! Thanks for the chance to win.


  2. Jennifer, I forgot to mention my favorite flower, but it has to be tulips. I love tulips, part of my dutch ancestry. Also, this second comment is to tell you that I am already subscribed to your blog in Google Reader.


  3. My favorite flower would be Gerber Daisy's. They always make me smile.

  4. My favorite flower is a rose. It isn't very original, but it is my favorite for sure.

  5. I tweeted here.


  6. I love lilies :)

  7. Fave flower is probably a rose.

  8. My favorite flower is either the Pansy or the Rose. Please enter me:) Thanks!!

  9. I also tweeted it!!

  10. My favorite flower is the carnation.
    pkildow at gmail dot com

  11. My favorite flower must be roses, just because it symbolizes love.

  12. These books are delightful :)

    My favorite flower is the petunia

  13. email subscriber

  14. My favorite flower is the Lily. I love that all, they are so beautiful!