Picture Book Spotlights: Ivy in Bloom and Big Blue


Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring by Vanita Oelschlager and Kristin Blackwood (Illustrations)

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Vanita Books (April 1, 2009)
Language: English

Genre: Picture Book

Series: None

About the Book:

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.

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble 

Big Blue by Vanita Oelschlager and Kristin Blackwood (Illustrations)

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Vanita Books (September 1, 2008)
Language: English

Genre: Picture Book

Series: None

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About the Book:

Big Blue is a cautionary tale for all of us, but especially children who
may not realize that their actions can have unexpected consequences.
Big Blue is a happy bird, and member of a large family that spends their
winters in the warm south. Big Blue gets lazy though and instead of
working, he lies about eating and sleeping. Soon, the flock leaves – but
Blue is too fat and heavy to go, so he spends the winter cold, but
working hard just to survive on his own. He soon learns that hard work
has its rewards because he is now strong, fit and the leader of the

Amazon | Goodreads 

About the Author:

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher,
caregiver, author and poet. She is a graduate of Mount Union College,
where she is currently a member of the Board of Trustees. She was named
“Writer in Residence” for the Literacy Programs at the University of
Akron in 2007.

About the Illustrator:

Kristin Blackwood is an experienced
illustrator whose other VanitaBooks include: My Grampy Can’t Walk, Let
Me Bee, Big Blue, Made In China and What Pet Will I Get?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Alyn Yang
    January 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Thank you for sharing! I am going to pick up a copy of Big Blue for my son.

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