Graceful writing and rich, mixed-media illustrations deliver a poignant story of longing, belonging and recognizing the gifts of the present.
A young rose-cheeked grouse is reluctant to migrate to warmer climates for the winter. Despite others’ warnings that she should come with them, she delays and fashions a bag in which to store seeds and her favorite red Forever Flower blossoms. Alas, the bag weighs her down, and she falls into icy waters. Luckily a spaniel playing fetch swims by, and she clings to it and is saved. The spaniel belongs to a young woman, and the grouse ends up in their home, where the woman plants the Forever Flower seeds. When seedlings sprout, they give the grouse hope that her grouse friends will return, and she longs for them and the coming springtime. At the story’s heart is the message that although we might wish for things to come or long for things that have passed, there are delights to be found in the present—like parties attended by snowmen, a picnic on an unseasonably warm day or the snuggly warmth of a dog. When the other grouse do return, along with the first Forever Flowers of the season, the young grouse is torn—should she remain with her new friends or leave with those who’ve returned?
A lyrical, lovely tale. (Picture book. 4-8)