Marvelous New Picture Books Mondays: Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray

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Need a new informational picture book?

Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray & illustrated by Kenard Pak is a lovely book that aims to inform children about various types of flowers and their pollinators.

A captivating front cover!

This book is a nonfiction disguised as a children’s rhyming book. It introduces concepts like flower colors, patterns, shapes, smell, and times of blooming for children to learn about. At the end of the book, it encourages readers to visit pollinator.org/guides.htm to follow up and learn more about how flowers/plants they can plant to attract pollinators. (What a fun way to apply the information in the book after reading!)

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Distinguishing the relationship between a magnolia and a beetle vs. a magnolia and a moose.

Gray has a unique way of narrating and explaining such concepts to children. To elaborate, she first gives an example of a flower that attracts a mammal, but ultimately that mammal does not have much to do with that flower. But on the next page, that flower attracts an insect, who helps pollinate that flower (ie. moose versus a beetle). After three repetitions of this pattern, there is a two-page spread about three different flower varieties the book mentions. This pattern continues throughout the book. I think this is noteworthy in particular because it makes sense psychologically. Young children (to whom this book is targeted towards) can typically hold up to 3-5 items in their head at a time. Rather than just putting a comprehensive list of all the flowers mentioned in the back of the book, talking about three flowers and then reviewing them in chunks of three can help in their overall remembrance of this text.

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A beautiful two page spread by Pak!

Pak’s illustrations are absolutely breathtaking. Each spread covers the entire two pages, and is a medley of various colors and textures made with computer illustrations. The spreads are in no way overwhelming, but are full of visual stimuli that portray the beauty of each flower. All of the animals are also on the spread, which help connect the print to the pictures. What is more interesting is that the spread focuses a lot on the flower’s environment, which can help children have a better understanding of each flower’s habitat. Any reader, young or old, can easily spend a nice long moment to appreciate Pak’s work.

This book is a great nonfiction book to read to emerging readers who may find the rhymes helpful in increasing their phonological awareness. The scientific vocabulary used throughout the book is also a great way to increase children’s lexicon. A recommended read for budding scientists!

by Sunny Kim

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