A Flower Is a Friend

Pajama Pr. May 2023. 36p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772782806.
PreS-Gr 2–This appealing work of creative nonfiction introduces readers to symbiotic relationships between flowers and various members of the animal kingdom. Species are presented in pairs with highly specialized relationships—butterfly and zinnia, hummingbird and honeysuckle. The inviting, open-ended questions on each page (“Why would a morning glory be happy to see a dragonfly?”) allow space for adults and children to wonder together before flipping to the ample back matter to investigate the answer. Along the way, flowers are shown to be crucial sources of food, water, and shelter for the animals around them, as well as worthy organisms in their own right. Wishinsky’s understated prose strikes a balance between straightforward facts and quiet lyricism, mining interest from simple truths found in the natural world. Patkau achieves striking realism in her mixed-media collage illustrations, from the delicate folds at the center of a pale rose to the blotchy markings on a frog’s smooth skin.
VERDICT Young readers will enjoy the accessible tone and engaging illustrations of this scientifically minded book; this is first-rate for browsing shelves or to round-out classroom collections.

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