Ivy In Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. « I stare out the window, » she says on the first spread of brown and gray, « looking for birds or flowers/or even warm showers/but I don’t see any such thing. » But then Spring comes when « March is out of breath…snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers…spring rose from its wintry rest. » And Ivy’s « heart dances with daffodils. » As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy’s world erupts into a riot of color.
Ivy In Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy’s eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author.
My thoughts on the book: This is the second illustrated book from Vanita Oelschlager that I have read so far, and I must admit that she is a great storyteller. You can read my previous review here (Postcards from a War).
Ivy in Bloom is emotional and original in the sense that it incorporates bits and pieces of poems written by world renowned authors.
First, you get a beautiful children’s book that you can read to your children. Then, you have a more adult section in the last pages. The author included the full poems that inspired her. You get to see the “borrowed words” in the original contexts. Witty and unique, right?
It’s refreshing to discover such pieces of work that can address both the very young and the adults! You can expose your child to great literature in a fun, child-friendly way, as well as talk about important topics like nature.
What a better way to expose your child to beautiful prose and poems? You never know, it might inspire some new great writers.
My score: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥