Falling Flowers tells the timeless tale of a young girl, Mayumie, and her grandmother as they take the train into Tokyo to see something special--the cherry blossoms in full bloom. It is a simple plot, as there is no direct conflict except the build up of the child's excitement to see something "more interesting than the zoo or a museum." But it is through this simplicity that the beauty of the story is revealed, for Reed shows the universal bond of love that crosses both generations and cultures, and she illustrates how something so simple can bring together so many. Cole's watercolor illustrations add to this simplicity with his sleek lines, soft colors, and sparse details, making the book a wonderful story of family love. The last page offers more information about Japanese culture with an explanation of how the Japanese celebrate the cherry blossoms and a discussion of the origins of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. 2005, Shen's Books, Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Mayumie is excited about going someplace special with her grandmother. As they set off on their journey, she cannot guess where they are headed. It isn't to the zoo, or a museum, or shopping. They travel by train, and she realizes that they are going to Tokyo. After one failed guess after another, she begins to sulk. Finally they arrive at a small park where rows and rows of beautiful cherry trees are blossoming in a symphony of bright pink. Her grandmother says that when she was a girl, her own grandmother brought her here, and she returns year after year during the week the trees are in bloom. Mayumie goes home with a few blossoms as reminders of the special place, and goes to sleep dreaming of the falling flowers. The pale blue boxes of text, set along the outer edge of an otherwise blank white page, resemble lovely scrolls. The soft watercolors that complete the spreads have a dreamlike quality. The pink blossom-filled trees resemble cotton candy rather than individual flowers in all but one scene, and the ethnicity of the characters is not obvious from the undefined, hazy art. Purchase as needed.-DeAnn Okamura, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.