Bloom is an allegory for something more – Bookwagon
From her balcony the girl can see the big house. Beneath its window grows a beautiful flower which the girl admires on her way to school. However, the owner of the house tells her to go away. The flower is the business of his gardener.
So, what happens when the flower refuses to open? The old man suggests more water, and that ‘I will have to do it myself.’ However, when that does not work, the old man resorts to shading it beneath an umbrella when the sun is a its highest. Thereafter, he tells the flower ‘how lucky it [is] to his flower and how important his job [is].‘ How might the man make the flower Bloom? What will it take?
The story is an allegory and beautifully sequenced, expanded upon and shown. I love the contrasting bold white framed pages of wonder, against the cross-hatched windows of despair. There, the old man pours everything he has into making his plant bloom. There’s such a moral to the story, but it’s dealt with compassionately and through sublime picture book story telling. Bookwagon commends Anne Booth and Robyn Wilson- Owen on creating such an empowering story in Bloom.
The little girl visits the flower ‘under the window of a big house’ and encourages it to Bloom. She considers its ‘sweet smell… smoothness of its leaves and .. colour and shape‘. Thereafter, she greets it admiringly. However, when she disturbs the owner of the big house, she’s told to ‘never come near my flower again.‘ The owner of the big house leaves care of the flower to his gardener, though as days proceed the flower diminishes. It seems like it is mourning something? Could it be a lack of water? Sunlight? Attention? What might the owner do to make the flower open?
Rather like The Seeds of Friendship or The Extraordinary Gardener, the story is an allegory for something more. It is recognisable from our society. Yet Anne Booth’s descriptive, illustrative text, is sequenced thoughtfully. Furthermore Robyn Wilson- Owen’s pictures use background tones, framing and focus thoughtfully to convey meaning and feeling. Bloom is a consummate, satisfying, beautiful picture book. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this title to our readers.
- Read: Woohoo! Bloom is The Sunday Times ‘Book of the Week’!
- Read: Hurrah! Bloom is one of the Guardian’s best books of the month!
- Read: Bloom is top summer reading in The Sunday Times!
- Read: Hurrah! Bloom is longlisted for the Spark! Book Award!
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