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Book Review of The Greenhouse Kids, Dan Delion's Secret

February 9th, 2010:

This book review was published by the Hobby Greenhouse Association in their Fall 2009 magazine.
The Greenhouse Kids: Dan Delion's Secret by Shelley Awad. Ottawa, CAN, Borealis Press, 2009. 125 pages, color. $12.95 paperback.
This is essentially a book that will delight children, and it includes several different interesting themes. On the one hand it is about magic and illusion and on the other it is a tale of a mysterious haunted house, but there are also lessons on building self-confidence and discipline.
The Greenhouse Kids are four children who are special because their first and last names are those of flowers or plants: Dan Delion, Holly Hocks, Foxy Gloves and Virginia Creeper. The children discover an old greenhouse on the property of a supposedly haunted house; however, only these "special" children can see the greenhouse or the magical Lucinda the Ladybug who lives inside. Lucinda helps the children, and she also gives them magical seeds to plant into pots with instructions that they must be watered every day in order to grow.
Dan, Holly and Foxy decide to explore the old house that is reported to be haunted. They have some frightening moments in there before discovering that the house is not really haunted. The house has belonged to the now deceased English Ivy family. The children learn that Virginia Creeper is related to Marigold Ivy, who was adopted by the English Ivys. Marigold died at age 8 and she and the English Ivys are buried under three tombstones in front of the old house.
The book includes nicely done illustrations by Constance Rose Zonta. It appears that this book will be the first of a series about The Greenhouse Kids, so children's enjoyment will continue. The author, Shelley Awad, is owner of Backyard Greenhouses, a company based in both Michigan and Ontario, Canada ( This company gives a free one-year membership in HGA to the purchaser of one of their greenhouses, which has resulted in 26 new HGA members in 2009 alone.
The Greenhouse Kids is available online from the above website or you may contact the company.
-J. Hale

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