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Flower Sketches

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Alphabet of Flowers is a fun children’s book that teaches young readers about different flowers. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?

I love flowers, especially wild ones. I began drawing using wax crayons with our toddler about a year ago. As a painting medium, crayons are readily available and not messy for quick sketching and painting. Sometimes, we draw together, or I do it alone as a relaxing activity during the short breaks between motherhood responsibilities. I shared the flower sketches on my Instagram stories. A Tanzanian author and literacy specialist advised me to write an alphabet book. So, I wrote this book with a Tanzanian child in mind. I was already working on a bilingual book project on a similar topic. It seemed fitting to branch off from that original project and complete the suggested small one first.

My favourite picture from the book is the Poppy. Do you have a favourite flower from this book?

I love all of them and intended to avoid the popular flowers appearing in the A-to-Z lists of flowers. However, letters such as the X were challenging as there is not much variety of commonly known flowers. As I was writing with a Tanzanian child in mind, I focused on what is possibly available in their tropical environments like the African violet, bougainvillea, or okra flowers. Nevertheless, the African violet would be close to my heart because it originates from the Usambaras where I grew up. Unfortunately, found only in East Africa, the African violet is in danger because of its habitat shrinking.

What do you find that children most love about flowers?

From the observation I made with my son, it’s the different colours and shapes. They are also available to touch and smell, which is great for their sensory development. Flowers can also be used as a painting colour. On touching, one has to be well informed to know which are poisonous in case of ingestion.

Do you have plans to write more educational books on flowers or other things in nature?

This book was a smaller version of another bilingual children’s project that I am working on.

Most of my children’s stories use nature as the story background. For example, the Lamellia series as fables also offer a lesson and curiosity on mycology.

Author Links: Facebook | GoodReads | Website | Instagram

Can you learn to read and identify flowers?

Auntie Glo invites you to have fun with this book. You can learn to read or enjoy looking at the pictures, and you can also learn to draw a flower yourself using wax crayons, just as she did.

Alphabet of Flowers

Alphabet of Flowers by Gloria D. Gonsalves is a beautiful picture book for preschool through elementary level readers. Each page is a letter of the alphabet with a different flower, a few facts about the flower, and a crayon drawing of the flower. After the letter Z, there is a summary table with each flower’s name and its picture for a quick look at them all. Then there are a few activities at the end for children to do to review all the different flowers.

The first thing that readers will discover about this exceptional picture book is the artwork. It jumps off the page with vibrant colors and simplicity. Children will love seeing the illustrations done in a medium they have access to and can try and copy the flowers. Of course, this is encouraged by the author! The standard format for each page is excellent as well. It would make it easy to use this book when teaching about the alphabet and be easily turned into a lesson plan.

I was impressed with the variety of included flowers; many are ones I have not heard of before, and they are fascinating. The simple facts are interesting but not overwhelming for children. The language is easy to understand and flows well, keeping the same format for each page. This writing style, repetition, is perfect for the younger readers but is not overly simplified so that older children would lose interest.

Alphabet of Flowers is a stunning picture book introducing young readers to the wide variety of flowers that are out in the world. It also serves as a unique way to teach the alphabet to preschool and kindergarteners. In addition, teachers and homeschoolers could easily turn this book into a complete unit study on flowers with the activities included in the book for review.

Pages: 44 | ASIN : B09VX8N9QL

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