Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers from the Past by Vanita Oelschlager

Received from NetGalley for review.

Ivy in Bloom is a gorgeous introduction to poetry, and some well known but not always accessible poets, for young children. It tells the story of Ivy, a young girl who is bored of winter and wants spring to arrive. The book is gorgeously illustrated, showing Ivy’s journey through the seasons, with a few lines of poetry on each page; it could easily work on many levels for many abilities, which, as a Godmother and English teacher, I really appreciate. Some of the lines are quite complex, using techniques that we expect in poetry, such as similes and metaphors, but I think that this is a nice way into exploring creative and poetic devices. Even though it is a short poem it could easily be used with older children to explore poetic devices more thoroughly, as well.

The poem that runs through the book is simple but sweet, and borrows lines from poets such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, to name a few. There is a bibliography at the end that goes through this, highlighting the famous words and providing a small biography on the poet, which I think is a really nice way to introduce children to the poets and their poetry without overwhelming them.

I imagine that this book is a true visual masterpiece in paperback format (my copy is sadly only PDF style), that will delight many children at story time; I know that I’ll be looking out for this, and similar books, to share with my Godchildren, and then maybe my own children, in the future.

Read: November 19th 2015

4/5 stars

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