Friday, January 4, 2013

Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager

Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past
by Vanita Oelschlager
illustrated by Kristin Blackwood
40 pages
April 2009

Book Jacket Summary
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
I was excited to look at a book that would introduce poetry by Dickinson, Wordsworth, and others to a younger generation. The book is beautifully illustrated and the colors on the pages gradually go from shades of grays and sepia to bursting with color because spring has sprung. My favorite page has Ivy laying in a field of daffodils and grass with "She wore her yellow sun-bonnet/She wore her greenest gown" from A.A. Milne's Daffodowndilly.
The book's poem is a bit stilted and I think I would have liked the whole verse from the poets poems rather than snippets but would children? It is a good introduction to poetry and has the full poems in the back with highlighted portions that are in the book's poem. This could be a good start before reading children poetry from a book of verses because it still has the picture book feel. Cute book with wonderful illustrations.

Book Pairings
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
When We Were Very Young by


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