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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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Laburnum Lanes

Laburnum Lanes by [Shantha]

Laburnum Lanes is a small collection of beautiful poems by Shantha. The poems mainly contain nature themes, such as birds and marigolds, with birds as illustrations. Some of the poems have continuances. For instance, a poem may continue into another poem, telling a short little story within those small series of poems, while all of them tie together pleasantly. The book is serene with its descriptions of nature and the beauty of it. The poem book is also incredibly cultural. It makes references to Indian culture and the author provides footnotes to define the specific aspects.

I enjoyed this collection of poems. While it is a short read, it is a beautiful one. Many of the lines of many of the poems resonated with me or touched me in a profoundly deep way. A lot of the lines paint detailed exquisite visuals. For example, “Strawberry Filled Path” elicits visions of strawberries on the ground as well as gives the visual of someone holding strawberries. You can even get the smell and the feel of sunshine from it. Shantha’s words jump from the page and really make you feel like you are in the scene they paint. Similarly, “A Large Palm” does the same as “Strawberry Filled Path.” The reader sees the flashes of imagery. Many of Shantha’s words are paintings that have come to life, with being able to see, smell, and even feel the some of the descriptions. It takes talent to be able to construct strong sensory responses. Even the title of the poem book evokes imagery of the trees.

Poems like “Togetherness” also have great lines in them, like “marigolds come from heavens/They are not born of the womb.” It has such powerful phrasing. Then there is something like “Meditation” that resonates with me because it illustrates parts of life so well. Many of these poems are like this poem in that way, where it is relatable because it reflects life.

I have so many poems bookmarked because they either resonated with me in some deep, profound way, they were relatable, I enjoyed the imagery, or I loved the phrasing. I am a huge fan of poetry because it can be done so well and conjure up different feelings and can even be an outlet for feelings. I think Shantha was able to do this magnificently with their poems, tap into universal feelings while also giving readers a taste of Indian culture. It definitely made me want to look into Indian culture more and be more educated about it.

I think good poetry makes you feel something, but great poetry leaves this feeling of change within you. It gives you new knowledge, new perspectives, and the hunger for more of it all. That is what Shantha’s poetry did with me. It was interesting and beautiful. I highly recommend this book of poems to anyone who is a fan of poetry or even just pretty words and phrases.

Pages: 130 | ASIN: B07DLZPCXL

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