cover image Bloom


Deborah Diesen, illus. by Mary Lundquist. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-30250-4

In an uplifting story about growth, change, and a mother’s love, Diesen draws a gentle parallel between the growth of bulbs—planted by a mother, who is white, and her brown-skinned daughter—and way the daughter’s has herself developed. So much happened throughout the year (school days, holidays, a family vacation) that the mother had almost forgotten about their plantings: “But the bulbs did not forget. Their roots pushed deep. Their stems grew strong. They heard the call of the sun. They decided how to answer.” Diesen’s (the Pout-Pout fish series) understated, verselike text speaks to the beauty of everyday moments, while Lundquist’s (One Little Two Little Three Little Children) airy images depict the year’s milestones with tenderness, including a moment during which the mother comforts her daughter in her arms—“the time that we cried.” Children won’t miss the connection between the way the bulbs “grew steadily. Surely. Day by day, each day a bit bigger” and the way that they are doing the very same thing. Ages 2–6. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)