To Be Like the Sun
Publication Date: April 2008
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Within every tiny seed lies the secret of what's to come. First a shoot, then a stem, a leaf, a bud--and finally a brilliant sunflower reaching high for the sun. Join a young girl as she waters and watches, celebrating the everyday miracles of growth and life.
SUSAN MARIE SWANSON has written several picture books and teaches poetry to children through a writers-in-the-schools residency program. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
MARGARET CHODOS-IRVINE is the illustrator of many highly praised children's books, including several she has also written. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
"Addressing a sunflower seed, a small girl contemplates the transformation from seed to sunflower and back to seed again, from spring planting through winter snow. The poetic lines are exquisite, philosophical yet concrete. . . .Chodos-Irvine’s bold illustrations, utilizing various ''nontraditional printmaking techniques and materials,'' juxtapose images of sunflower and sun and emphasize curving circular shapes that reinforce the recurring progression of life, the seasons and day and night. . . . The large, wonderfully patterned illustrations are perfect for sharing, and the ideas lend themselves to discussion and curriculum applications for young children." (starred review)
"The lyrical free verse is enhanced by Chodos-Irvine''s colorful linocuts. The blocky yet realistic prints fit the mood perfectly and bring subtle layers of interpretation to the words, as when tiny sunlike fireflies are added to the dusk scene in which the flower is ''thinking about the sun/even when it has gone away.'' Younger children will enjoy the concrete imagery while older readers will appreciate the effortlessly evoked themes of seasons, life cycle, and the miracles of nature."