Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

V is for Venus Flytrap: A Plant Alphabet

V is for Venus Flytrap: A Plant Alphabet

Eugene Gagliano
Illustrator:  Elizabeth Traynor 
Nonfiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 978-1585363506

Many of us walk (and sometimes run) through our days without really noticing all the remarkable plants that are growing around us. We don’t realize that there are violets blooming under the trees across the street, or that a dandelion has managed to make a home for itself in a crack in the pavement. This unique alphabet book explores the world of plants of all kinds. It celebrates, on three levels, the wonderful things that plants are.

For each letter of the alphabet, the author has created a poem that looks at a topic that has something to do with plants. To compliment the poem, he has written a section of text for a sidebar that expands on the topic, providing the curious reader with further information. To compliment these pieces of text, Elizabeth Traynor has created beautiful illustrations to show readers the beautiful world of plants.

For the letter A, for example, The author explains what annual plants are. He tells us that they are plants that “we plant each year from seed” and that “sun and water’s what they need.” In the sidebar, the author gives us more information about annuals. He tells us that many vegetables are annuals, and many of the flowers that we enjoy in the summer such as snapdragons, marigolds, and zinnias, are also annuals.

Other topics explored in the book includes bulbs, carnivorous plants, deciduous plants, evergreens, fruits, grains, and herbs.

This nonfiction picture book is one of a collection of exceptional alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press. Each one can be enjoyed by children and young readers on several levels.