Saturday, January 1, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration - Book One

Willow and the Snow Day DanceHappy New Year and welcome to the first day of the TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration. A few years ago I reviewed a book called Willow, which charmed me. I was therefore delighted to find out that the author and illustrator who created Willow have worked together again to bring us another book featuring their delight main character. Here is my review of this new title. 

Denise Brennan-Nelson
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
Picture Book
Ages 5 to 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2011, 978-1-58536-522-7
   Willow has just moved to her new home, and she wastes no time getting busy. Soon Willow and her mother are planting a garden, but then they discover that they don’t have enough plants to fill their garden space. Willow decides to write to her neighbors. She asks them if they can help her fill her garden by donating a plant or two.
   By summertime, Willow’s garden is flourishing, and she delivers flowers to all her neighbors, including Mr. Larch, who lives next door. Mr. Larch is old, crabby, unneighborly, and anti-social, but Willow doesn’t know this. She takes him flowers anyway, and she asks him and all the other neighbors if they have any “scraps” to donate for her garden art projects. Soon her garden is full of old junk that Willow turns into interesting works of art.
   In the fall, Willow shares the vegetables from her garden with all the neighbors, including Mr. Larch, and she asks everyone to donate to the annual hat and mitten drive at her school. Can it be that Mr. Larch’s cold heart is starting to thaw, warmed by Willow’s friendship?
  This delightful book brings back the character who charmed readers in Willow. Once again, the little girl with the wild hair shows readers how a little creativity and a big heart can make the world a much happier place. 

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