Alison's Zinnia: 03/15/11
Living close to the coast in California means year round flowers. What the flowers are changes by the season and certainly spring and summer provide the most variety and amount of flowers but there will still be roses, poppies and daisies in fall and winter.
So growing up with such variety I feel like I should be more familiar with flower varieties. My grandmother certainly was and she did try to teach me beyond the basics but somehow her encyclopedic recall for flowers and plants just didn't take with me.
Now I'm a parent and I have two children who love flowers. They are always asking me what such and such flower is and I'm hard pressed to know the answer most of the time. I'm grateful therefore for the many picture books available for us to read together.
Our most recent floral picture book, Alison's Zinnia by Anita Lobel is also an alphabet book. Better than the average alphabet book, there's a clever round-robin aspect to the story. It begins with Alison receiving a Zinnia from a friend. She in turn gives an amaryllis to her friend Beryl and so forth. Until the last friend is revealed.
Besides the fun round robin introduction to old fashioned names and beautiful flowers, Anita Lobel's illustrations are gorgeous. I would love to have a copy just as a quick pictorial reference for flowers!