With Florette, author and illustrator Anna Walker turns the phrase, "Bloom where you are planted," into a marvelous story accompanied by unforgettable illustrations.
When Mae's family moves to the city, she wants to bring her garden with her, but her mother tells her she can make a new garden. The tall buildings and pavement everywhere are a challenge for Mae, but she perseveres, like nature itself. She uses sidewalk chalk to decorate the courtyard out her window with flora and fauna, but the rain soon washes it away. Mae sets up a picnic inside her room, drawing apple trees, dandelions, birds and bugs and grass and flowers all over the moving boxes that fill her room. Then dad comes and moves the boxes. Finally, exploring their new neighborhood with her mother and baby brother, Mae stumbles upon Florette.
This plant shop, bursting with green, growing life, (and a bird flying in through the transom window) inspires Mae. Soon, the courtyard outside her window is filled with plants - and friends.
Anna Walker's illustrations are magically transportive. While the city that Walker creates is grey and plain, it has its charm. Both the city and the walk through the neighborhood that leads to a surprise shop, bursting out of its storefront reminds me very much of Paris and the way you can wander through narrow streets lined with tall, stone buildings that all seem the same and then come upon a eruption of excitement and color, a totally surprisingly unexpected shop. Florette works on so many levels, it is a truly amazing picture book that will stay with you long after you have close the covers (which have stunningly verdant endpapers).
Be sure to watch this absolutely charming book trailer that uses stop motion animation!
Source: Review Copy