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Friday, October 24, 2008

Vibrant Willow Celebrates Life in Color

Every time I receive a book in the mail (and it's almost a daily occurrence around here), my 6-year-old bookworm jumps up and down shrieking, "Is it a kid's book? Is it a kid's book?" So, when I finally received a children's book in the mail yesterday, my daughter could barely contain her excitement. After squealing her delight over its bright cover, she whisked Willow off to the couch and devoured it. I heard gasps, giggles and happy sighs escaping her lips as she read. Perched on my lap, she read it a second time so I could enjoy the book before it disappeared into the no-man's land otherwise known as her bedroom. As soon as she finished, she lept up, exclaiming, "Where are my paints? Willow gave me soooo many ideas. I need lots of colors, Mom!" I can't think of a better endorsement for this story than my daughter's reaction - any story that inspires that kind of enthusiasm in a child has to be good, right?

First off, I have to thank Amanda for (1) Her glowing review of this book, and (2) giving me the chance to win a signed copy. I was almost as excited about winning Willow as my daughter was about reading it! Amanda says it's one of her favorite books of the year, and I can certainly see why.

Willow was written by sisters Denise Brennan Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan. The fun, colorful illustrations are by Cyd Moore, who also did the pictures for the I Love You, Stinky Face books. The story stars Willow, a young girl who refuses to surrender her imagination to the colorless world of Miss Hawthorn, her art teacher. When she's instructed to paint trees "with straight brown trunks and round green tops," Willow refuses to give up her pink paint. Even though Miss Hawthorn labels her a "horrid little girl," she continues to infuse her art with the colors she loves. The art teacher does not appreciate Willow's creative thinking, but a special gift just might change her mind. Will Miss Hawthorn break out of her cold, colorless world or will students forever be trapped inside her dark art room where a tree can never be anything but brown and green?

As you can see, Willow is a bright, colorful book about the importance of creativity and
imagination. My daughter related to the spunky Willow, who wouldn't allow her imagination to be limited by anything or anyone. The illustrations are different, fun and perfectly in tune with the story. Any child who loves art, color and creativity (and isn't that every child?) will adore this book about an irrepressible little girl who simply wants everyone to see life the way she does - in vibrant, living color.

My daughter just whipped Willow out of my hands. It's headed upstairs to the happy, colorful no-man's land of a child's inner sanctum - exactly where it belongs.

Grade: A

(Images from Cyd Moore's official website)


  1. Have you seen the website?

  2. No, I hadn't seen the website - it's great. My daughter is going to flip when I show it to her. Thanks for the head's up!


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