Grandma's Purple Flowers
The young African American narrator adores being with her grandmother, who always has a hug and smile waiting. In the summer, the girl picks purple flowers: Grandma loves purple. In the autumn, the girl rakes leaves. When she asks why they fall and die, Grandma tells her, ‘everything has its time.’ When the snow falls, it is Grandma’s time, and the girl endures the winter, thinking about how much she misses her grandmother. Then spring comes, the flowers bloom, and the girl sees the first purple flower poking out from the ground. The girl wants to cry, but she feels happy, too. Many books for young children deal with death, but few have pictures that are so winning. Cut paper, watercolors, and acrylics are combined beautifully to depict each season – falling orange and yellow leaves, drifts of white snow… [T]he collages… burst with life as they capture the smallest nuances of emotion between grandmother and granddaughter. The first person text is simple, moving, and hopeful: ‘When I see purple flowers now, I think of Grandma.