Sunday, April 4, 2010

Aunt Mary's Rose

Aunt Mary's Rose. By Douglas Wood. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. 2010. March 2010. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
I looked all over the rosebush in Aunt Mary's backyard, the bush she had asked me to water.
I looked at the blossoms. I looked at each petal. I looked at the leaves. At the stems. I even looked around the roots.
"Take care of the rose, Douglas," Aunt Mary had said, "and one day there will be a little bit of you inside of it. And a little bit of the rose inside of you."
I had just poured two pails of water on the rosebush, pulled out some crabgrass, and plucked off a couple of old blossoms and some yellow leaves.
Now I looked it over very carefully, and all I saw was...rosebush.
Douglas Wood's Aunt Mary's Rose is a quiet, intimate portrayal of a family through the decades. A story of what it's like to grow up in a certain time and place. A family story as well. About the bonds a family share and create. About memories. About the stories a family passes on. About family legacies. About the connections we make that last forever. It's a story about love.

It's definitely a picture book for older readers because there is a great deal of text. But for those readers that realize that picture books don't always have to be for the little ones, don't have to be about babyish things, there is much to appreciate here.

I have been a big fan of LeUyen Pham for years. I just love, love, love her work. I do. So anytime I see her name, I just have to read the book!

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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