I’m constantly on the lookout for just the right book to share in my library storytimes. Sometimes these programs can be a bit chaotic: twenty or thirty people in the room, and lots of jumping and counting, clapping and stomping. With quieter groups (or to try to recover a sense of calm during a crazy day!), I love sharing books that are a bit slower, that encourage the group to stop and gaze at the page for a minute. Some of my favorite in this category are books by April Pulley Sayre. Sayre is a prolific children’s book author, and my very favorite of hers are a series of outdoor photography books. Titles like Full of Fall and Best in Snow feature close-up photographs and very simple text, encouraging the reader to take notice of all the details in the image on the page, like the way a raindrop reflects the light, the number of red berries on a snowy branch, or the exact color of a bird’s bright wing feathers. Sayre encourages me to consider my surroundings more in each season. I often think of winter as being very visually dull, but the bright birds and berries and the way Sayre uses contrast in Best in Snow makes me look just a bit harder for those eye-catching images in my own winter walkabouts.
The Sayre book on my shelf right now is a celebration of blooming flowers, and it’s a perfect read for this rainy end of winter, when my eyes are just aching for those hints of green and the first flowering trees. The title, Bloom Boom!, is perfectly fitting for the riot of springtime.The colorful flowers seem to leap off the page, and the text is full of great action verbs: surprise, extend, rise, surge, grow. I especially like that she includes photos of all the stages of bloom, from tulip tips just emerging from the ground to a full field of poppies. Animals get their time in the spotlight, as well. Bloom Boom! features a rabbit, bumblebee, chickadee, butterfly, and lizard, if you want to do a quick game of “I Spy” during a reading some time.
If you’re looking for these books in a library, try the nonfiction section instead of the picture books; along with the beautiful photos, Sayre’s books are a great collection of learning resources. The last few pages of Bloom Boom! include information about different environments that flowers bloom in (meadows, woodlands, etc.) and helpful websites, and identifications for each flower pictured and where it typically blooms. Next time you need a moment of calm contemplation with a picture book, I hope you can enjoy these visual treats.
Featured image courtesy of publisher’s website.