★★★★☆ (4/5) – Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager (Illustrated by Kristin Blackwood) is a charming children’s book about a young girl who looks forward to experiencing the beauty and adventure of spring. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous! Most children will empathize with Ivy’s feelings about winter and her longing for spring. This is also a great introduction to poetry for children, as the author cleverly uses portions of famous poems to tell Ivy’s story. At the end of the book, longer sections of these famous poems are included in a bibliography for further reading. I recommend this book for children in grades K-3, though it could also be used with slightly older children (grades 4-5) while studying poetry.
From Amazon: 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.