FLOWERS ARE CALLING by Rita Gray

FLOWERS ARE CALLING

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Verse alternates with facts about pollinators, depicted with their preferred flowering plants.

Gray establishes a playful pattern: In each of three successive double-page spreads, she pairs a nonpollinating animal and a pollinator. “Flowers are calling a little black bear. / No, not a bear! He doesn’t care. // They’re calling a butterfly / to dip from the air.” Next, an anchoring spread gathers and names the three preceding plants, providing prose nuggets about their pollinators’ preferences. Regarding the trumpet honeysuckle, “Hummingbirds use their long tongues to reach the nectar hidden in deep tubular flowers, and hover as they drink.” The magnolia garners this revelation: “Beetles have been visiting flowers for more than 100 million years.” Verse sections can be uneven. Often lovely couplets—rhyming or near-rhyming—bump up against lines that don’t scan well; in one case, the rhyme pairs a plural subject with a singular object: “Flowers are calling a rabbit to stop. / No, not a rabbit! It’s not their habit to call a rabbit. / He might grab it! // They’re calling a bee fly to visit their spot.” Pak’s pretty, digitally worked watercolors achieve equilibrium between stylized reduction and naturalistic verisimilitude. Two spreads visit flowers with nighttime pollinators—a nice touch. Concluding prose invites children to examine flowers for elements like pattern, shape and smell, explaining how pollinators utilize these attributes.

Although it has some textual flaws, this quiet, introspective work beckons readers to keenly observe. (fact page, website) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-34012-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2015




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