Friday, May 17, 2019

Review: Blooming Beneath the Sun by Christina Rossetti, Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

by Christina Rossetti
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
April 16, 2019
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8
32 pages

Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a collection of celebrated English poet Christina Rossetti’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.

The world changes so quickly, but the joy and fun of being a child always remains. Christina Rossetti’s classic nursery rhymes have embodied the simple essence of childhood for centuries, and now award-winning illustrator Ashley Bryan brings new life to them with this wonderfully illustrated selection of Rossetti’s poetry.

Bryan’s bright and intricate collage art perfectly complement Rossetti’s simple text, and together they create a vibrant book for both kids—and kids at heart.


Interesting and diverse poems meet with colorful and artistic illustrations to create a wonderful launch into the world of poetry.

Christina Rossetti embraces a vast variety of topics in her poems, ranging from winds to a pig in a wig to cats and so much more. The poems are relatively simply, four to eight lines, and worded in a meaningful way, yet still simple enough for kids to understand. Some are whimsical, some gentle and others hold a drop of wisdom. It's a lovely collection for first exposures to poetry.

The illustrations are bright and allow the art to whip away with imaginative style. While some scenes are easier to understand than others, favorites are sure to be found. Fantasy flows through the lines and contrasts, allowing the artistic flair to run right along with the poetry. It creates a base for exploration, which young listeners can flip through time and again on their own.

And here they are...

The Author...
Christina Rossetti's classic nursery rhymes have embodied the simple essence  of childhood for centuries.

The Illustrator...
Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he was recently named a Newbery Honoree for his picture book, Freedom Over Me. He has also been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; has been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer; a Coretta Scott King Award winner; and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. His books include Freedom Over MeSail AwayBeautiful BlackbirdBeat the Story-Drum, Pum PumLet It ShineAshley Bryan’s Book of Puppets; and What a Wonderful World. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine.

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