Tag Archives: cycle of life

What to Read to Your Kids

"The Dandelion's Tale" by Kevin Sheehan & Rob DunlaveyJP has decorated his summer journal and is ready to record our adventures (here’s hoping his motivation extends past the first week). Many of these adventures will take us into nature, where there are always metaphors to be discovered about life. Take, for example, our vegetable garden: each morning we wake to budding strawberries, and each evening we return to discover that they have been devoured by the squirrels and cardinals (how dare the latter betray me after I sung their praises right here?!). There’s a lesson somewhere in there about patience and not expecting to get things right the first time. And so we return to bed with renewed hope.

The Dandelion’s Tale (Ages 4-8), a new picture book by Kevin Sheehan and Rob Dunlavey, offers us another metaphor, this one about the fleeting, cyclical nature of life. This gem of a book takes what can be a…

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I was recently honored to be interviewed on Mr. Schu’s legendary blog (www.mrschureads.blogspot.com)! This is my first interview about The Dandelion’s Tale. Read on to find out my personal opinion on the importance of school libraries, the relationship between Sparrow and Dandelion and my favorite picture book when I was young, many, many moons ago.

Mr. Schu started a sentence, and it was my job to complete it. I have to try this method when I do interviews.

The Dandelion’s Tale tells the story of a puffy, white dandelion who is worried that once her remaining seed pods blow away, no one will be left to remember her. A passing sparrow hears her cries and befriends the tiny flower. As she tells the sparrow her life’s story, her new friend writes it all in a dry patch of dirt so it can be read over and over. It’s tale of friendship and the cycle of life, as the dandelion’s tale is passed on to the next generation of bright, young dandelions that grow in the meadow.
dandelion mr schu
 
Rob Dunlavey’s illustrations are simply perfect. His beautiful artwork really captures the heart and soul of the story and are far more than I could have ever expected. When Schwartz & Wade made their offer, I had a mental image of what I felt the illustrations should look like. When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of the little Golden Books. I didnt’ know Rob and we had no interaction, so I was both curious and nervous while I waited for his final product. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the first set of proofs. It was exactly, and I make no exaggeration here, the way I pictured and hoped it to be. A lot of parents will get nostalgic when they see it for themselves.
School libraries are an essential part of every child’s education and development. I learned so much from the books I checked out over the years and I’m especially grateful to all of the librarians who helped a little voracious reader expand his interests. Going down to the library was always the highlight of my week in school (next to lunch and punchball games at recess!). That’s where my love of books really blossomed. I wouldn’t be a writer today if I hadn’t gotten that initial exposure to books in my school library.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what my favorite picture book of all time is. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift is the first picture book I remember treasuring when I was in first grade. It also came with a floppy record that read the story to me and had all kinds of sound effects and music. I would read that book and play the record multiple times a day. The best part was learning that it was based on an actual little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. It’s only 10 minutes from my house. Whenever I see it, I feel like a kid again.


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