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Fantastic Flowers Hardcover – March 1, 2017
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—What can you see in a flower? After a succession of successful titles for the very young about birds and animals, Stockdale turns her attention to plants, sharing what she sees when she looks at 17 "fantastic flowers." Two orchids, a friar's cowl, and an African daisy produce "prim ballerinas,/wild baboons./Snakes standing guard,/and spiraling spoons." Stockdale's rhyming couplets are perfectly crafted. They're as delightful to read aloud as her clean, bright acrylic paintings are to look at. These images are sometimes framed and sometimes fill entire spreads. For the most part, only flowers and a few leaves are depicted, but there's an occasional surprise: a ruby-throated hummingbird probes a trumpet creeper; a bee approaches a coneflower. These images remind readers that plants need pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. A final spread features a girl and boy tending a flower-filled garden. The back matter includes brief information about flowers and a picture index: photographs of the flowers portrayed, accompanied by scientific and common names, native range, and usual pollinator. The flowers are native to various areas around the world. They may be less familiar to adult readers than the birds and animals in the author's previous work, but for the intended audience, they offer an invitation to use their imagination in the natural world. VERDICT Will be welcomed wherever Stockdale's other titles are popular.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
"(A) glorious celebration of nature." -- The Huffington Post
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The text is simple, and the colors in the drawings are vivid. It's almost laid out like a board book. The ARC was incomplete, so I couldn't get the full feel of the book, but I would guess it will appeal to children between ages 2-4.
The ARC did not contain much of the promised end notes either, but there were full color photos of the actual flowers, and Stockdale has done a terrific job of reproducing their likenesses in her illustrations. I would have liked to read some of the facts about the plants themselves.
Blog: Mom's Radius
Just as the reader reaches the end of the colorful illustrations, Stockdale delivers the scientific and common names of the flowers complete with photographs for the fancifully illustrated flowers in the first section of the book. This is when the beginning reader could benefit from a lap of an experienced gardener. Cuddle up with your little sprout for a great read and a dash of creativity leaving you inspired to plant flowers, all from the book Fantastic Flowers. Ages 4-70