Making Peas by S.M.R. Saia

“The writing was witty, the characters were relatable, and the illustrations were beautifully done.”

Review by Renae Powers

How do you solve a problem like Clark Whittle?

From the moment Clark shows up in her first grade class, Gertie knows he’s going to be trouble. Clark doesn’t follow any of the rules. He calls her Gertrude the Rude and gets her blamed for things that aren’t even her fault. Then he starts blowing spit wads at her. How do you fight back against someone like that without breaking the rules yourself?

About the Series

Grandma Trudy’s garden isn’t just growing the family’s vegetables, it’s also growing creative solutions to six-year-old Gertie Green’s toughest problems. Each garden-themed chapter book for ages 6 to 9 features a different vegetable as a key part of the story and includes growing information for young gardeners.

Release Date: 11/26/2021

Genre: Children’s

Pages: 91

This book was such a good one to start my day with! I laughed so hard at so many points, which I definitely did not expect! It’s been a while since I’ve read any children’s literature, but this book has absolutely reminded me why I used to love it and has re-sparked my interest in the genre! The writing was witty, the characters were relatable, and the illustrations were beautifully done.

“‘A sight word is a word that doesn’t follow the rules,’ Mrs Standish says. ‘Clark’s a sight word,’ I blurt out. Then I start to giggle. Mrs. Standish squeezes her eyes, which means she is mad.”

I really loved that this book took me right back to elementary school and put me in the shoes of little Gertie! I shared in her triumphs and frustrations, and more than once I exclaimed aloud, “Why are boys so mean?!” Seriously, 7-year-old Renae came out and popped off a lot while reading about troublesome little Clark performing his nonsensical boyish antics. Ugh, and of course the teacher was just as oblivious to said antics as my teacher seemed to be at that age. It was a thoroughly relatable story!

“‘Grownups are always talking about peas! Grandma Trudy is always wondering if there’s ever going to be any world peas. Daddy says that the people at work never give him any peas… Mom always asks for peas and quiet, but she never gets up to make any…” 

In addition to the story being great, this book also had an educational element to it that I loved. Young readers will learn tons of new words along with Gertie, presented in a very organic way that adds to the story while adding to the knowledge base of the audience. They will also learn valuable lessons about being sneaky, dealing with bullying behavior, and understanding that adults often say things that don’t make sense when taken literally. 

My only complaint is that I didn’t find this book sooner! I would’ve absolutely read it to my little brothers when they were in the right age range, though I’m afraid they’ve grown out of it now. But if you’ve got youngsters at home, or you yourself are young at heart and enjoy a laugh-out-loud children’s book, then I definitely recommend Making Peas! 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

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0. None.

Romance & Spice:

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Cursing & Vulgarity:

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0. None.

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