Cardinal and Sunflower

Overview

On a winters day, a mother and child take a stroll through the park, tossing sunflower seeds along the way. Unbeknownst to them, these seeds start an entire cycle of life around them. One stray seed sprouts into a sunflower, while a pair of cardinals feast on the rest and begin their new family. Weaving together the growth of the sunflower with the development of the cardinals family through the seasons, the evocative poem and expressive collage illustrations gracefully portray ...

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Overview

On a winters day, a mother and child take a stroll through the park, tossing sunflower seeds along the way. Unbeknownst to them, these seeds start an entire cycle of life around them. One stray seed sprouts into a sunflower, while a pair of cardinals feast on the rest and begin their new family. Weaving together the growth of the sunflower with the development of the cardinals family through the seasons, the evocative poem and expressive collage illustrations gracefully portray the interdependency of all living things.

The seeds scattered by a mother and her child as they walk through the park on a cold winter day feed a pair of cardinals and grow into a plant that feeds their babies the next summer.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna T. Brumby
Huy Voun Lee's bright, enthusiastic cut-paper illustrations are especially suited to the main elements and bring enjoyable life to James Preller's well-rounded story. Intertwining lifecycles, those of the brilliant cardinal, the warm sunflower and the human family that brings them together, are carefully but simply presented in this fine picture book. We follow the process of the year from scattered seeds in winter through fall's harvest. The birds' repeated cry, "What cheer! What cheer!" appropriately voices the reader's reaction to this joyous presentation.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3This narrative that cycles through the seasons begins on a cold winter day as a mother and child scatter sunflower seeds in the park. Cardinals and squirrels eat most of them, but in the spring one sunflower plant begins to grow. As everyone comes to the park to celebrate the season, a pair of cardinals build a nest, watch their eggs hatch, and care for their young. By summer, the solitary sunflower is in full bloom. Almost fully grown, the cardinal chicks eat its seeds. During a warm-weather stroll, the mother and child scatter seeds once more. The collage illustrations draw readers' eyes to every bit of the busy park to see different people and animals enjoying the outdoors as the seasons go by. The pictures are more appealing than the text, which is a little fragmented and unfocused.Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Kirkus Reviews
With quiet elucidation, Preller tells the story of a family of cardinals in a city park. A kindly human mother and daughter have strewn sunflower seeds during their winter walk. They have nourished a cardinal couple and left a seed behind, unintentionally, that will germinate and sprout come spring. There follows the birth and feeding of the cardinal brood and the early gropings of the sunflower sprout, each a moment of Darwinian exigency. In the sweet, expansively composed collage artwork, they are shown at their fittest. The small birds and the sunflower come of age and meet their destiny, even as the mother cardinal flies away to start another brood. The story is a reassuring, benign natural-history lesson, with only a drowsy momentum that becomes fulsome in the wake of the author's and artist's good-hearted, gladdening goals. Readers will salute the cardinals and their sunflower. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060262228
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

James Preller
James Preller
James Preller is the author of the popular Jigsaw Jones mystery series, which has sold over 10 million copies (of 32 titles) since 1998. Six Innings is his first stand-alone novel, and it grew out of his love for baseball and his experiences in Little League as a player, father, and coach.
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