Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Vanitabooks (April 1, 2009)
Vanita Oelschlager’s book, Ivy in Bloom, is the perfect choice for the month of April. It introduces children to some of the greatest poets and writers– Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Cummings, A.A. Milne, and Frost — and tells a tale of the change of seasons, winter to spring, through the eyes of a young girl — whose name is Ivy. Vanita has used her own talents as a poet and combined them with excerpts from classic poetry. All of the excerpts are listed in a bibliography at the end of the book, here are two of my favorites:
e.e. cummings wrote:
when the world is mud-luscious.
when the world is puddle-wonderful.”
A.A. Milne wrote:
“She wore her yellow sun-bonnet
she wore her greenest gown;”
The artwork is a brilliant combination of techniques used in the following way: traditional block prints cut in linoleum, and printed in black on white stock; the images were converted to digital format through flatbed scanning; watercolor layers were added using Corel Painter, and Adobe Photoshop, computer software for digital illustration. The imagery cleverly changes from dark and gloomy winter scenes to bright spring scenes bursting with color. Kristin Blackwood’s illustrations are precious and unique — Ivy is as cute as a button. A wonderful book all-round.
“All net profits from this book will be donated to charitable organizations, with a gentle preference towards serving people with Vanita’s husband’s disease — multiple sclerosis.”
Links: Vanita Books.
A review by Heartland Reviews.