4 out of 4 stars
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Spring Brings Life by Cedra Lewis Baird is a delightful poetry book for children. Written with the intention of filling a void in classroom materials, this short collection is both educational and entertaining. Although it is winter now, the book is so refreshing that it made me feel a warm breeze of spring. Some of the lines even reminded me of famous spring poems of classic writers such as Wordsworth, Browning, Whitman, Dickinson, or Frost.
Dedicated to spring and the rebirth of nature, Cedra Lewis Baird’s book includes ten poems written in rhyming couplets. All poems are centered in the middle of distinct pages beautifully framed with images characteristic of the season. Moreover, each poem is accompanied by a full page of skillfully designed illustrations. What I genuinely enjoyed about the book is precisely the perfect match between the beautiful illustrations and the content of the poems. Such a combination will most probably help children understand the message of the text much better.
There was not a single poem I found less charming than the other. The writer makes use of visual, auditory, and olfactive images to describe the miracle and beauty of spring. The poem “A Reason for the Season” focuses on the gradual passage from winter to spring: “As spring inches in with all her glory,/ She comes to tell a different story.” All the other poems make up the amazing story of a season best defined by an incredible passion for life in all its forms and manifestations.
Colorful images spring to mind when reading poems such as “Spring Brings Life”, “The Rainbow”, “Cherry Blossoms”, or “My Heart Surrenders”. Exclamatory and imperative sentences (“Oh, what a sight!”, “Happy to be free at last!”, or “Spring into action, everyone!”) build an atmosphere full of dynamism and optimism. I could not find anything negative about this book. On the contrary, it filled my heart with joy and positivism. I was more than pleased to read the poems dedicated to children’s activities in spring (“Enjoy Spring Fun”, “Spring Action”, or “The Spring Express”). Onomatopoeic words and action verbs punctuate the text, urging children to enjoy spring in the middle of nature. The illustrations show children of different races and religions having fun together. This is a great way to promote cultural diversity, mutual acceptance and intercommunication.
I warmly recommend this poetry collection to both kindergarten and primary school children. On the one hand, parents and teachers could read the poems together with the kids. On the other hand, second and third graders could read the poems by themselves. Thus, they can improve their reading skills and develop their imagination. The book is an excellent classroom asset too. Children learn to love and understand nature and natural phenomena. They get familiar with names of plants and animals. I am sure they would also be thrilled to learn the colors of the rainbow in a lyrical manner (“The Rainbow”) or to read about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly (“Mr. Caterpillar”).
In most of the poems, the vocabulary is simple and accessible to children. However, there are a few difficult words such as “sphere” and “beautify”. In this particular case, children, especially younger ones, may need an adult’s help. Sentences are short and easy to memorize. Children could learn them by heart for a spring festival or celebration at school. Since the book is exceptionally well edited too, I have all the reasons to give it 4 out of 4 stars. The highest rating reflects the merits of a children’s author who manages to make learning an enjoyable and rewarding activity.
Spring Brings Life
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