Spring will be here soon. I hope! And while we’re awaiting its arrival, I found a Perfect Picture Book to get you in a springtime mood!
Written By: Shauna LaVoy Reynolds
Illustrated By: Shahrzad Maydani
Publisher/Date: Dial Books for Young Readers/2019
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: poetry, friendship, nature, spring, loneliness
The snow had melted, the buttercups were blooming, and Sylvia celebrated winter’s end by writing a poem about spring.
Brief Synopsis: When a birch tree seemingly responds to the poems Sylvia had left for it, she is thrilled, until she realizes that someone other than the tree may be the mysterious poet.
Links to Resources:
- Read or write a poem about a favorite place or season;
- Take a walk and discover signs that the seasons are changing;
- Do you know someone who can’t explore outdoors, like an elderly relative or neighbor? Send a poem, picture, or letter to that person, to help him or her experience the beauty of nature.
Why I Like this Book:
With lyrical language, Reynolds presents young poet, Sylvia, who shares poems with a nearby birch tree. Imagine Sylvia’s surprise when the tree seemingly answers each poem with one of its own! But Sylvia’s joy is short-lived when she discovers who really wrote the poems.
I won’t spoil the story by revealing the answer here, but this lovely picture book features not just beautiful poetry but also a reminder that friends can be found where you least expect to find them and that two people can bond over the beauty of words and nature.
Maydani’s graphite pencil and watercolor illustrations in muted shades perfectly complement the lyrical text and reveal the thoughts swirling through the young poet’s mind.
A Note about Craft:
In Poetree, Reynolds celebrates nature and poetry, and she reminds readers that friends can be found in unlikely places and that classmates aren’t always what they seem to be. The text blends poems that feature child-like simplicity with lyrical language such as “rhymes falling like autumn leaves” and “words…blossomed into her mind”. Although the individual poems are distinct from the lyrical language, including both encourages word-loving readers (and aren’t all readers word lovers?) to read this lovely picture book again and again.
Per the jacket flap, Poetree is Reynolds’ debut picture book. Maydani, of Iranian and English descent, grew up in Niger and Kenya, but currently resides in the US.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!