no bee
no bee



I'm Ivy Van Allsberg.
I'm waiting for spring.
I stare out the window
Looking for birds
Or flowers
Or even warm showers.
But I don't see any
such thing.
– Ivy in Bloom




Vanita Oelschlager
Kristin Blackwood

Ages 4-8
40 Pages
Hardcover: $17.95




February, 2013


I thought it was such a cute book! I could see myself reading this to little kids and them absolutely enjoying it! the pictures were beautiful and the poems were quick and easy making it perfect for a child who is just starting to read.





February, 2013


This is a beautifully illustrated book that reads well both quietly and aloud. The full text of the poems from which the words were drawn is included in the back. It is a lovely way to share poetry with both children and adults.




Give The Kid a Book

February, 2013


These books are a wonderful way to introduce children to poetry!! The illustrations are great and help the words come to life! I would love to see more of this series!! Such a breath of fresh air! The kids I work with loved these and now know some famous poets! It is terrific when kids are learning but think they are having fun!

Beautiful illustrations and a great rhyme scheme. Each new page was a delight. Wonderful artwork and a nice poem story to go along with it.




Books Beside My Bed


January, 2013


I was excited to look at a book that would introduce poetry by Dickinson, Wordsworth, and others to a younger generation. The book is beautifully illustrated and the colors on the pages gradually go from shades of grays and sepia to bursting with color because spring has sprung. My favorite page has Ivy laying in a field of daffodils and grass with "She wore her yellow sun-bonnet/She wore her greenest gown" from A.A. Milne's Daffodowndilly.

The book's poem is a bit stilted and I think I would have liked the whole verse from the poets poems rather than snippets but would children? It is a good introduction to poetry and has the full poems in the back with highlighted portions that are in the book's poem. This could be a good start before reading children poetry from a book of verses because it still has the picture book feel. Cute book with wonderful illustrations.


Library Thing

Various Reviews

July, 2011 - January, 2013


Perfect Chaos

Stacie Wyatt

December, 2012


I read Ivy in Bloom, in exchange for review from The book was based on a little girl named Ivy Van Allsberg. The graphics were excellent and colorful. The winter had dreary colors, while spring had brighter colors. The book also had poetry at the end from classic poets. I loved this book. The book also showed activities such as sledding, playing in snow, and Ivy laying in flower fields.


Project Chameleon

Kelly Mogk

December, 2012


In Ivy in Bloom, we follow a young girl as she waits for winter to turn to spring. Poetry from Dickinson, Longfellow, Frost, and others combine across the pages as Ivy dives into spring with all the excitement expected from a young child. Although the poetry doesn't blend fully to create a seamless story, the excerpts shared are filled with strong imagery and wondrous words. I definitely plan on using this text to model for my students how they can collect poetry around a central theme to create a book of their own. The bibliography at the back of the book is a much appreciated addition to the text; several of my students will want to read more about the poets included in Ivy in Bloom.

Ivan's Great Fall introduces Ivan, a little boy that loves summer and everything about it -- especially the absence of school! In this book, Oelschlager again combines her own poetry with the works of Sandburg, Bronte, Keats, and more. I especially loved the transition from summer to fall (shouldn't be surprising, as I love all things Dickinson):
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.


I am adding these selections to my classroom library and look forward to working with my students to help them curate their own collection of great writers and poets.


Wanted Readers

July, 2012


We have all experienced that winter weariness where you just can’t wait for spring and all the pretty flowers. I wish it was spring year round. The weather is pleasant, everything is blooming and full of color. This is a very cute book. The Illustrations are done wonderfully. It is wonderful how Oelschlager blends her poetry with works from classic poets to create something great and new. I’m getting this one for my winter dreariness arsenal. At the end of the book there is a bibliography referencing the poems used in the book, but in a longer form. There is also a miniature of the illustration. All net profits from this book will be donated to charitable organizations, with a gentle preference towards serving people with multiple sclerosis.




Through The Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews
March 16, 2012

It is a cold day in March, and Ivy Van Allsberg is wishing that spring would make an appearance. She is tired of “piercing” winter winds, “heavy and gray” clouds, and frost covered fountains. In vain she looks here and there for signs of spring.   


Then, at last, spring begins to send up shoots that are green and full of life. April brings showers and snowmelt, and flowers are encouraged to bloom. Little birds sing, Ivy’s heart “dances” like golden yellow daffodils, and “all’s right with the world!”  


In this unique picture book, Vanita Oelschlager combines her own poetry with sections of poetry written by Longfellow, Charles Dickens, e.e. cummings, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and others. The resulting poetical picture is as fresh and exciting as spring itself.  


In the back of the book, the text is presented in full, showing readers how the opening section, written by Vanita, shifts into the section of the narrative that uses words written by “Great Poets and Writers of the Past.” Here readers can see excerpts of the poems that Vanita used.


dashPied Piper Pics
September 16, 2011

Poetry fans rejoice! In this short, beautifully illustrated book, Oelschlager’s story begins as an original tale about Ivy Van Allsberg, a little girl who is sick of winter gloom and looking forward to spring. However, after the first three pages, Oelschlager skillfully weaves together lines from some of poetry’s greats to complete her tale in a smooth collage. Combining lines from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, e.e. cummings, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and others, Oelschlager guides the reader from Blackwood’s winter grays and muddy browns to April’s bright green and yellow radiance. Young children will love the simple story and charming illustrations of Ivy while older children and adults can appreciate the vast bibliography, which contains excerpts from each poem utilized by Oelschlager with the lines she took highlighted in green.


dashThe Children's Book Review
April 2009
Read the review.


dashHeartland Reviews
February 2009
Reader: Bob Spear
Rating: 4 hearts

This children’s picture book’s purpose is more than just entertainment. Its pictures and connecting text lead the readers through young Ivy’s emotional changes and activities and dress as she wanders through the end of winter and through all of spring. These aspects are enough to make the book interesting; however an additional dimension is added throughout the pages by quoting several of our best loved poets from the past to kick up the quality level.


The pictures and the illustrator’s command of her various art media provide an excellent visual background that stops just short of museum quality level. She reminds me a little of “Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans.


The decision to use excerpts from famous poets with an explanation of each one in the book’s back material is to be applauded. Today, it is almost impossible to hear or see poetry being taught, read, or written in public schools. It has been left behind as a victim of the “No Child Left Behind” movement, which focuses on basic skills and hard science and math and little on any of the arts. This book is an excellent awareness raiser. We rated it a fairly high four hearts.

Heartland Reviews Picture Book Score Sheet
Heart score based on category scores graded 1-6 points. Total sum is divided by max possible of 30. Resultant % is equated to a heart score (see below).
Illustrations= 5
Text= 6
Connectivity= 6
Characterization= 6
Subject= 5
Total= 28 \30 = 93%= 4 Hearts

Heart Scoring Percentages  
1 heart=     < 44%        
2 hearts=     44%        
3 hearts=     60%        
4 hearts=     85%        
5 hearts=     95%


dashSan Diego State University
National Center for the Study of Children's Literature

A. Allison


"Ivy in Bloom is a sampling, an extraction of lovely bits from famous poems, put here in a minimal way as the story of a young girl waiting for Spring. Her name is Ivy, and she and the season do bloom. Oelschlager’s selections of poetic words capture the essence of the poems, for example Wordsworth’s famous sonnet to daffodils is sculpted to “Heart dances with daffodils.” This condensation works, especially for the age of the audience. The illustrations are outstanding, original, high-tech, and complex, with an anime tone. Two of my favorites are the dynamic, cool one for “Clouds hang heavy and gray” and the multi-panel for the E.E. Cummings quote. Narrator and artist together have created a book that can introduce children to poetry playfully, positively, and meaningfully.

At the back of the book are the complete poems and short biographies of the poets/writers.”

VanitaBooks donates all net profits to The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis and other charities where "people help people help themselves."


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