Flower Power: The Magic of Nature’s Healers

Prestel. Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9783791373997.
Gr 4-7–This large book (10 x 15) is meant to be a compendium of plants highlighting their medicinal qualities. Each spread features several paragraphs describing a plant: rose, marigold, iris, and 18 more. An unusual drawing is on the facing page. None of the illustrations clearly represent what the flowers look like. While the illustrations are detailed and full of unusual “folk art,” they are not helpful to a reader looking for facts. Why is there an elephant facing the description of an artichoke? Why is a rose popping out of the hat of a dapper young man? Additionally, there is little to engage a young reader. The stylized drawings would lend themselves more to a dark folktale for adults. The introduction (two pages of dense text) speaks to the many aspects of plants: mythology, folklore, herbal remedies. Unfortunately, it lacks enthusiasm and will not appeal to young readers. The text accompanying each flower is even less interesting and lacks scientific detail to back up the author’s statements. The spread on the marigold indicates that the flower’s petals are used to dye cheese and that perhaps cutting cheese into heart shapes will encourage love. This is much conjecture and not based in fact.
VERDICT Not recommended for purchase.

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