Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrated by Kristin BlackwoodIvy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers from the Past by Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrator: Kristin Blackwood
Published by Vanita Books on April 1, 2009
Genres: Childrens, Poetry
Pages: 40
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.

Ah, I understand how Ivy Van Allsberg feels. Winter wears long for me, too. I look forward to spring, “when the world is mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” And March, especially, with it’s glimpses of better weather, followed by snow, can get long.

Ivy in Bloom is really cute. The author takes excerpts of classic poetry and weaves them into Ivy’s world as winter turns to Spring. ┬áIt’s a short story and the illustrations fit the flow perfectly. In the winter, the colors are dark and gray, but as spring comes, out come the yellows and bright greens and purples and pinks. All the pictures are cute, but the spring ones are especially happy and bright. As the blurb states, at the end each piece of poetry is identified by author and work. This makes a good introduction to poetry for younger children and can lead older siblings or parents to read the originals. It’s one I would have enjoyed reading to Amber when she was younger.

It’s just a perfect one for this time of year, while winter melts away and my heart “dances with daffodils.”

About Vanita Oelschlager

Vanita 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.


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