A sparrow fulfills a dandelion’s last wish in this luminous tale about the power of storytelling to keep a loved one’s memory alive.
One summer day, Sparrow hears a dandelion crying. The flower is mourning her impending demise, worried no one will remember her. Wanting to help, Sparrow offers to write the flower’s story on the ground. For hours, the dandelion shares things she’s loved: the smell of the meadow, the laughter of children. Upon completion, the dandelion is happy, and Sparrow promises to come back—but a storm keeps him away. When he returns, the flower and her story are no more. Sparrow weeps; promising not to forget her, he sings. In this incandescent moment, other birds join in the dandelion’s song. Weeks later, Sparrow discovers a patch of baby dandelions growing under the same tree. He shares with them their mother’s story, confident she will not be forgotten. Lyrical illustrations done in ink, watercolor, pencil and crayon softly glow with a reassuring warmth. Done in a palette of earth tones, they skillfully convey the characters’ points of view: lush, whimsical close-ups for the dandelion; expansive, bright swaths of landscape for Sparrow. Dunlavey’s sophisticated compositions also give context to the dandelion’s life cycle; in his dazzling field of gold flowers, readers realize the dandelion’s legacy and the strength of her existence.
Radiant. (Picture book. 3-7)