I picked ‘’Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past’’ on NetGalley because of the marvelous cover that speaks of spring, the idea of introducing children to poetry (which is a big love of mine!), and the topic of the changing seasons, which is rarely explored in children’s literature (yet it is part of their life too).
I must say this book didn’t disappoint me. At all. It is a fun take on poetry for children what with an introduction by Ivy, the main character, and writings from great poets and authors. The poems rhyme, which make it all the more amusing, and they’re easy to understand. The pictures help clarify the meaning if there is some confusion. It tells a story many children live through as they wait for winter to end and spring to arrive so they can play outside and have some real fun. This book achieves it by combining sweet poems with pictures, which are pleasant to look at and cute. The emotions are portrayed by Ivy are easy to identify thanks to the pictures. As for the mood and setting, they are well conveyed.
Even though one of its two main topics is the weariness of winter, the book is quite colorful and filled with beautiful images. One can clearly see Ivy is bored, but without becoming as such ourselves thanks to the entertainment the colors and poems provide us! Moreover, Ivy is a likeable everyday girl who goes from bored to hopeful to happy. I think she is realistic and we can’t help but wish spring to arrive soon too!
I really love how the author credited the great poets and authors at the end of the book by including a short biography of each one and the works from which the lines (in green) were used. I find it highly respectful. Plus, the fact that they described the illustrator’s process in the biographies is interesting. The book is short, yet it delivers its content well.
Although, there’s only one thing I wasn’t comfortable with: one line of poetry talks of God. I know the author probably wanted to convey how everything is going well, so they mentioned God and Heaven. While I think it’s okay for people to believe in God, I am not sure it belongs in children’s literature the way it was presented as we are all different and not all religions believe in a single God. The author could have chosen a better line of poetry to express this.
Besides that, the read of ‘’Ivy in Bloom’’ was entertaining and I consider this book an inventive way to introduce children to poetry and help them expand their knowledge! It is also a lovely addition for those who already love it at a young age (I’m sure I would have dived right in was I still a child!). I decide to give it a 5/5 and I greatly recommend it.
Tagged: book reviewing, book reviews, child, children, children's literature, free, honest review, ivy in bloom, Kristin Blackwood, netgalley, poem, poems, poet, poetry, poets, Vanita Oelschlager, writer, writers