cover image The Forever Flowers

The Forever Flowers

Michael J. Rosen, illus. by Sonja Danowski. Creative Editions, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56846-273-8

In an allegorical story about time, change, and acceptance, a grouse mourns the loss of summer, clinging to a bouquet of “Forever Flowers—the first to appear, the last to disappear.” As other birds migrate, urging the grouse to let go of the old and embrace the new, the weight of the flowers causes the bird to plunge into an icy river. She is rescued by a gentle spaniel, who takes her to his cabin home, where he lives with a flaxen-haired girl whose chiseled features and old-fashioned attire make it difficult to determine her age or the era. Danowski spikes the muted palette of her lushly detailed mixed-media artwork with dashes of red as the girl, dog, and grouse await spring inside the cozily cluttered cottage and prematurely picnic outdoors, until a “darkening chill ushered the three home.” The sophisticated prose (“Darkness buried some days. Sunlight lifted others. The grouse, it appeared, felt that impatience could hurry the seasons”), infused with melancholy, should hold particular magic for sensitive readers who perceive in a falling leaf more than simply the arrival of autumn. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)