Featuring seven different types of plants, this book first explores them with poetry before giving them characteristics in the second part of the book. The poems are lovely and flowing with beautiful imagery and fantastic structure. On the facing page of each poem is an illustration showing the plant in nature and interacting with humans. For instance, the dandelion is being blown by a girl, and spearmint is seen between human toes. Muted colors add to the soothing and mystical quality of the poems and illustrations. The book then includes a recipe for a tea with six of the plants (which also directs for grown-up help in making it) before continuing to describe each of the plant's gifts, such as that the dandelion connects us with our loved ones from far away and releases us from our worries. These descriptions delve into the magic of nature in a relatable way.
Elementary-aged children will enjoy connecting to the plants and their gifts in this lovely book. From the somber and enchanting illustrations and rhythmically gorgeous poems to the delightfully spiritual qualities of the plants, this book brings new life to the natural world. The soulful and magical quality of the poems will enchant children and adults alike while also connecting them to the world in new ways. Perfect as a bedtime book or as part of a light meditation, children can explore nature through plants they may already know, such as red raspberry, lavender, and dandelions and also enjoy the lovely sketches and magical qualities of the plants.
The US Review of Books
As beautiful as a bouquet of flowers brought as a gift in springtime, Honeysuckle Hugs: A Blend of Botanical Poetry will enchant readers with the glorious attributes of so many lovely gifts of Mother Nature. Author Libby Piper along with her illustrator Renée Fox have created a cornucopia of plant based pictures and prose, artfully displayed to make paging Honeysuckle Hugs into a reading experience like walking through a field of wild flowers in a mountain valley in May. Blooming each page with rhymes and fascinating facts, readers are carried into the realm of visual imagination, grounded in the soil of Mother Nature’s goodness.
The book focuses on seven different species of plants, and with the introspection of a botanist and interpreted into words by Libby Piper’s poetic prose, the book pages with such an appreciation of the gifts from nature which will identify, educate and aspire young minds into understanding the variety of abundance provided for people to enjoy. Honeysuckle is the first to be featured with the words, “Soft, pale petals, drops of dew— sweetness of life born in the heart of you.” This sets the tone of the poetry, as beautiful illustrations commence to carry forth the softness and detail of these remarkable plants. Red Raspberries, Dandelions, Spearmint, Sage, Lavender and the Weeping Willow Tree complete the group of plants, each of course, being praised for their inherent qualities. I particularly liked the “Weeping Willow Tree” when Libby Piper wrote, “Weeping tears of joyful glee, watching your wondrous life to be” making the tears of sadness become tears of joy!
This book morphs into a type of cookbook at the end with “Recipe for Honeysuckle Hugs Tea for Two.” Then a summary of each of the gifts of the plants complete this unique and insightful book. A true gift for all home libraries due to the appeal it will have to all who are fortunate to read Honeysuckle Hugs: A Blend of Botanical Poetry. The best part readers do not have to water the book, as it will stay fresh for many generations of children to enjoy. Mother Nature has given us many gifts, and the poetry of Libby Piper helps bring it to our attention in a beautiful way.