Mini Review: Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past by Vanita Oelschlager
Release date: April 1st, 2009
Publisher: Vanita Books
Genre: Poetry
Format: eBook

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Ivy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. “I stare out the window,” she says on the first spread of brown and gray, “looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don’t see any such thing.” But then Spring comes when “March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest.” And Ivy’s “heart dances with daffodils.” As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy’s world erupts into a riot of color.

Ivy in Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy’s eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author.

I really enjoyed reading Ivy in Bloom. I probably wouldn’t have requested it on NetGalley because it was listed as being for children (a category I never check) if I didn’t need a spring themed book for the Spring Fling read-a-thon. However, it surprised me and it’s further proof that I shouldn’t judge a book based on its listed age group. Teenagers and adults can most definitely appreciate this sweet little book as well.

Ivy in Bloom was an adorable illustrated children’s poetry book that used excerpts from famous poems to highlight aspects of spring. The drawings were fantastic! The poetry snippets could have been longer in my opinion, but since it’s for children, it’s perfect because it provides them with a snapshot of some classic poems by authors such as Emily Dickinson and E.E. Cummings. It acts as a good introduction to poetry for children and even older people who haven’t explored the genre before.

I think the book is perfect for people of all ages, but especially children 4 years old and up. The blending of images and parts of poems was wonderfully done. It made me smile and want to pick up the full length poems of the authors featured. I highly recommend it! 🙂


About the Author

vanita_meetvanita_largeVanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet. She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee. She has also supported and helped Jim as he built Oak Associates, LTD. into a successful investment management firm.

Today, as an accomplished author, Vanita shares openly the experiences that she, Jim and their families have had with multiple sclerosis. She has likened MS to living with an elephant, one that won’t go away or be ignored. Together, she and Jim have found ways to live with this “elephant”, and to share some of the larger lessons about life they’ve learned through the disease.

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