Themes of growing a garden and growing up fit together seamlessly in this moving, cross-generational story. A father and daughter share a spring tradition: every year they plant a garden in their yard. But as the young girl knows well, the tradition began long before she was born — and the story of the summer her father was ten makes its annual appearance along with the tomatoes, peppers, onions, marigolds, and zinnias they cultivate with such love. A stray baseball was the cause of the trouble; it flew into the garden of Mr. Bellavista, the old neighbor the kids called "Spaghetti Man." When the boy who would become Dad went to retrieve it, he couldn't resist throwing back a tomato instead. His friends responded, and soon the kids were having a glorious time, rampaging through the carefully tended garden, throwing every tomato, onion, and pepper they could get their hands on. But Dad heard the old man's one-word question — "Why?" — and watched him silently clear away the wreckage. The following year, when Mr. Bellavista showed no sign of planting anything new, the boy apologized and offered to help. They cleared, dug, planted, grew, and harvested the garden, and from that year on it became their shared endeavor — the memory of which continues in the framing story. Shine's bright, detailed watercolors are full of light and movement, bringing vividly to life the people and neighborhoods in both time periods, while giving special attention, of course, to the satisfying daily work of gardening. Brisson has a sometimes difficult story to tell, but she uses a light touch, trusting readers to understand the message she resists spelling out: that the courage to take responsibility for your actions can bring sweet, surprising, and long-lasting of rewards.