Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers from the Past, is an absolute pleasure to experience. Readers will delight in Kristen Blackwood’s charming illustrations, both gray and colorful – as they read original verses from Vanita Oelschlager along with excerpts from famous poems in history.
The story blends a narrative about young Ivy, a girl who eagerly awaits the colors and adventures of springtime, with the beautiful language of poets such as Dickinson, Wordsworth, Shelley, Whitman, & Frost. Children and adults alike will be drawn to the nostalgia and dreamlike quality in this celebration of the seasons.
Ivy in Bloom is a joyful experience reminding us that change is inevitable, childhood and the world around us is magical, and poetry comes from both nature and human experience. The final pages of the book include brief biographies of each historical poet, plus the full text of each poem that an excerpt was drawn from. Not only could this story, then, serve as a child’s first experience with poetry, but also provides them with a point of reference for who wrote these poems, when and where.
My hope is that when finishing a poetry book like this one, students will also want to find out why writers write poetry, and delve deeper into understanding questions like: What makes a metaphor powerful? How is a rhyme musical? Why is a verse funny or joyful or sad? Even the youngest child can answer questions about how a poem made them feel. In order to understand poetry we must experience it, the younger the better – and Ivy in Bloom would make a wonderful addition to any home or school library.
*I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow this link to NetGalley: https://www.netgalley.com/book/17186/review/424591
Review also posted on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2098681415
Thank you for visiting Space to Dream! Have a lovely day. -Stacie
Stacie Eirich is a writer as well as an avid reader & book reviewer. She holds a Masters Degree in English Studies from Illinois State University. She has published four books of poetry and a children’s novel: Tiger Kingdom & The Book of Destiny. She lives north of New Orleans, and is currently writing her second children’s novel.