Bloom encourages readers to nurture one another!
This week two rather special picture books landed on my doormat. Their arrival was timely. On Monday some of our youngest children will return to their schools for the first time in many weeks. Their classrooms will look different, school life will have altered and their experiences over the last two months or so may have been unsettling. Teachers face the task of reassuring their small pupils and providing a sense of security for them. Picture books can help. Especially picture books that radiate kindness and hope. Bloom and Perdu are very different stories and yet they both feature a small child who makes a difference. Not by slaying dragons or defeating villains, or with magic or secret powers. These two little girls change lives by being kind. These hopeful, reassuring books empower little ones as they listen or read. They see that even the smallest voices can make a big difference when they are used to be kind. A valuable message for them in the world today.
Bloom written by Anne Booth and illustrated by Robyn Wilson- Owen
‘Good morning, beautiful flower’ she would say. ‘I think you’re wonderful. Thank you for being here for us. I love you.’
Each day a little girl admires a pretty flower that flourishes in a garden she passes on the way to school. She talks to it and appreciates its beauty; every morning it cheers her as she walks past. Unfortunately the man who lives in the house is possessive of his garden and shouts angrily at the small girl to stay away. Over the coming days without the little girl’s visits the flower droops and its beautiful petals no longer open. The furious man tries everything. He tells the flower how lucky it is, how important he is, he waters it and instructs it to grow however despite all his efforts the flower continues to pine. He has run out of ideas so perhaps the little girl can help him?
Text and illustrations combine in this thoughtful picture book to convey ideas and themes that matter. The child in her joyful innocent way appreciates the things about her that bring her happiness and she displays this appreciation in her behaviour and attitudes. The old gentleman is unable to do this. Materially he has more than the little girl and her family and yet he does not lead a happy life. The illustrations highlight this difference. On opposite pages we can observe as the girl, her brother and mother share meals together in the kitchen of their flat while the man meanwhile sits alone at a big table with people serving his meals. The children enjoy colouring together while the man leads a solitary, unhappy life complaining about others in his large house. Finally when he asks the little girl for her advice he discovers what a little kindness can achieve.
This is a lovely story tenderly told which ensures young children will be comforted and reassured. More perceptive children may ask why the old man is so grumpy and this could be an excellent prompt for further discussion. Sometimes we all need a small reminder of what matters most in life and Bloom confirms for us the importance of appreciating what we have, sharing our good fortune with others and showing kindness even to those who may not be kind to us, These can be difficult lessons to learn sometimes but this gorgeous story encourages readers to nurture one another.
Bloom is published by Tiny Owl Books on 11th June and this celebration of optimism and kindness is perfect for sharing with young children at the moment.
- Read a blog: Kindness helps us grow
- Watch: Spread kindness with flower pressing
- Watch: Check the trailer for Bloom!
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