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BLOOMING BENEATH THE SUN by Christina Rossetti


by Christina Rossetti ; illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Pub Date: April 16th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5344-4092-0
Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Adults who fondly remember “Who Has Seen the Wind?” will be delighted to introduce a new generation to some of Rossetti’s child-friendly poems.

Bryan brings fresh life to thirteen of the 19th-century British poet’s least dreary and most accessible poems. Vibrant blossoms on the inside covers hint at the fun inside. This is a celebration of nature and language crafted from cut construction paper. Bryan expands Rossetti’s metaphoric images with unconventional color choices that stretch the imagination. For example, the dog in “Pussy Has a Whiskered Face” is tan, pink, gray, and white, while kitty is all the colors of fire: orange, yellow, brown, and red. Human faces are not limited to shades of brown, black, or tan either. The detailed collages add layers of meaning to each short verse. The eight small collages that illustrate “Color” (at just 16 lines, the longest poem) clearly reference each couplet. Regardless of length, each poem is allotted a double spread. Less-familiar poems include “Mother Shake the Cherry Tree,” “Peacock Has a Score of Eyes,” and “Lie-a-Bed.” Carefully placed text guides readers’ eyes, and contrasting type colors help both titles and text stand out against the bright backgrounds.

From the peacock on the front cover to the daffodil on the back, this visual treat will inspire budding artists and poets.

(biographical note) (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)