[The illustrations are] detailed and lovely. It's a smooth read aloud...[that] creates a warm and comforting place for young readers.
Beautifully illustrated with a simple text and a warm message, this picture book is a real treasure.
Perfect for the child struggling to find her or her own talent.
Holly feels like a misfit; she's "as grouchy as the thorns on a rosebush." Her mother, sister, and brother all grow beautiful flowers, but all of Holly's attempts at gardening flopliterally. Her family tries to help, but nothing seems to work. After her dad, an artist, gently reminds her that there are many different kinds of tools to help a garden grow, Holly has an idea. In her own way she grows a beautiful garden, full of color and life, a garden that will last forever. The authors have fun with language throughout the book, using, for example, various plant names for the characters. There is Holly's sister Rosie, her brother Bud, and her mother Iris; her mother's nickname for her is Sweetpea. Interestingly, it is her non-gardening father, Harold, who uses the only other non-botanical name in the bookhe calls Holly "Ladybug." The authors play with alliteration"her dahlias drooped before she even had dessert"without overdoing it. The illustrator has created lovely pictures with a slightly old-fashioned flavor, using acrylic paints with black pencil outlines. Though the human figures are at times a tad flat, the warmth and love in the family interactions shine through. This is a sweet story about a young girl who persists despite multiple failures, finally finding her own unique way to shine. A common enough theme in children's literature, it is used here without a heavy hand, creating a book that is pleasing to the ear, eye, and mind. 2004, Flashlight Press, Ages 4 to 8.
Dawn Elizabeth Hunt
PreS-Gr 2-Holly Bloom is called "Sweetpea" by her mom and "Ladybug" by her dad. She longs to grow flowers like those of her mother, Iris, and siblings, Rosie and Bud, but she doesn't seem to have the knack. Everything she plants either wilts or droops. Finally, in a burst of inspiration, she creates a glorious garden out of tissue paper, crepe paper, and pipe cleaners that is "guaranteed to last forever." This is a satisfying resolution to a story of perseverance and self-discovery. However, the writing style is a bit precious, and the characters' overly cute names detract from the tale's merit. Lush, detailed drawings in pencil and acrylics fill the pages with sunny cheer.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Pleasing to the ear, eye, and mind." Children's Literature
"Holly has realized there are many ways to be creative, and sometimes you just have to find your own way." OC Family Magazine
"Sweet and well told." Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
"An absolutely glorious picture book." WizKids.co.il
"Luminous garden scenes and playful language." website of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library