Monday, February 11, 2008

Fairy Dusters and Blazing Stars - Literary Wildflowers for Children

I want to tell you about a delightful book of wildflowers to share with the children in your life. It is called Fairy Dusters and Blazing Stars, by Suzanne M. Samson Illustrated by Preston Neel. The author used her vivid and literal imagination to think about unique wildflowers in a fascinating way.
For example, have you seen the flower called Elephant heads before. They are pink flowers on tall stocks. Each flower seems to have a trunk and ears making it resemble an elephant's head.
How about Monkey Flowers, are you familiar with them? They are commonly yellow, but some are pink, such as Lewis's Monkey Flowers, named after Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. When you look closely at the flower it is easy, with the aid of the spots and dots on the flower, to imagine a cute little face looking out at you. Could it be the face of a monkey? Could there be flower sized monkeys swinging all over the clump of flowers?
It is easy to see how Sky Rockets got their name. The really could resemble flaming rockets shooting off into "wild blue yonder" with a big red glare.

In the back of the book there are close up photos of the different flowers featured in the book and more information about each flower.

Fairy Dusters and Blazing Stars might seem a little silly to the more serious botanist. But maybe there is a little room for laughter and fun. And many children do really understand this sort of humor. We know it isn't really true, but somehow that flower got it's name, and somehow someone else must have agreed, because the names have stuck until this day. And me, I really enjoy the fun illustrations even though I'm no longer a child.

1 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Shady Gardener said...

Beautifully illustrated book! :-) Thanks for sharing.