Root and Schmidt describe Celia’s seasonal activities with great admiration, carefully naming the flower and bird species to which she felt so deeply connected. Sweet’s lush, detailed watercolor, gouache, and mixed-media illustrations greatly enhance the text. . . . A splendid introduction to a lesser-known nature poet and the landscapes that inspired her.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The quiet, precise text tells of a person who brought beauty to a barren place. . . Sweet’s vivid, beautifully crafted illustrations capture the story’s period setting and quiet, reflective subject. This handsome picture-book biography will resonate with those who love flower gardens and long for the sea.
Paired with the softness of watercolor and pencil lines within each image, the words and illustrations together create a visual tapestry that connects readers to [Thaxter’s] colorful world. . . . Elementary school-aged readers will enjoy learning about a colorful and creative woman through this work.
—School Library Journal
Sweet’s illustrations follow the text’s lead. . . Thaxter’s devotion to her titular garden shines bright.
—The Horn Book
Vivid nature writing infuses this picture book biography of New England artist and poet Celia Thaxter (1835–1894). . . . In mixed media, Sweet showcases florals on every page, weaving in quotes from Thaxter’s own writing.
Celia Laughton Thaxter was a New England poet, artist, gardener, and nature lover. In this picture book biography, authors Root and Schmidt introduce young readers to the passion that Celia had for natural beauty.
—School Library Connection
Twin Cities writer Phyllis Root, author of more than 50 books for children, has teamed up with Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt in this inspiring biography of Celia. Melissa Sweet’s watercolor, gouache and mixed-media collage illustrations depict the bountiful gardens, tender blossoms and raging sea to perfection.
—The Star Tribune
Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are delicate and graphically the book is a joy, with flowers, drawings of the town, a picture of Celia and her husband, all filling every page with energy.
—The St. Paul Pioneer Press