Saturday, March 08, 2008

to be like the sun by Susan Marie Swanson

I LOVE sunflowers.
I LOVE picture books about sunflowers.
I LOVE poetry about sunflowers.
And I LOVE Margaret Chodos-Irvine's illustrations.

So, my favorite new picture book of the moment is to be like the sun by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. When I first looked at it, the title and the sunflower on the front drew me in. It wasn't until I opened it up that I recognized the illustrations and had to look back at the cover to see that they were indeed done by Chodos-Irving. The coloring is a bit different from Ella Sarah Gets Dressed but they are clearly her illustrations.

It looks like this book was first published as a poem as part of an anthology. Whoever decided to turn it into a picture book was very, very smart. It makes a PERFECT picture book. In my opinion, there can never be enough books about sunflowers or planting sunflowers.

This book takes you from the seeds in the spring to the winter when the sunflower is just a memory. The language may be what makes this book my favorite of the day. My favorite line is the one when the little girl is planting the seeds. "All the instructions are written in your heart." There are so many more lines like this.

I am always looking for books with great language. But I often find trouble finding books with great language that young children can enjoy and appreciate. Often the books are geared toward older children. This book is good for all ages and I think readers of all ages will appreciate the language that is so perfect.

As I sit here in the midst of a blizzard, it is quite nice to have this book to read and remember that spring isn't that far away.


  1. Love that cover. Sunflowers are kind of magical, aren't they?

  2. Bring this to share on Monday!!

  3. I didn't know that we shared a passion for sunflowers. I always plant them next to our barn and they're the best flower of the summer! Let me know if you want a dried one to share with your class. Thanks for sharing this great book. maria


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