written by Katrina McKelvey; illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan
2015 (EK Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
As we watch the little parachutes, we wonder where they go.
I used to hate dandelions. They were a blight on a lawn of lush, green grass. Dandelions were the pimples of lawn care. The problem was that came from the point of view of a crotchety- getting older by the minute-too worried what the neighbors think-man. Change the point of view to a young child. You get a completely different take on dandelions. Now they are cool flotation devices that inspire your imagination. The charming new book Dandelions gently nudges old geezers like me aside and shows a fresh perspective on these natural toys. In the book, a young girl is upset with her father because he has mowed all the dandelions down to a nub. Dad doesn't understand that they're not weeds, but instead "yellow like the sun, and magical." Fortunately, being a good dad, he finds a patch of dandelions undisturbed near a corner of the porch. Like me, he probably owns a string weed trimmer that is way more trouble than it's worth and therefore leaves little patches of lawn loveliness to thrive. The dandelion duo take deep breaths and blow nature's parachutes up into the sky. They imagine them flying over the park, down to the river, and out of town where they interact with hot air balloons.
Dandelions would be a great book to use for teaching point of view. Discussions can center around how children sometimes see things differently than adults. You will also have differing opinions on the plant itself. You can also use this book for science class. Several trees are named on the path of the parachutes and Dad gives a great explanation of what happens to the petals after they land. Dandelions is a delightful tribute not only to the magic of imagination but also the love between parent and child.