Sunflower Circle

Children - Grade K-3rd
44 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Scott Wright (1961 - current) is a gardener and nature photographer who feels most at home when he is surrounded by nature's beauty and splendor. He has been planting sunflowers for over six years and feels a deep gratitude for the many lessons learned in his Sunflower Circle. He has shared seeds from his garden with fellow gardeners and families in over 50 states and 10 countries. In addition, he has co-authored curriculum using the Sunflower Circle to provide a deep and meaningful experiential education for children.

Scott and his wife, LaRae, live in Utah were, as founders of Children Leading Children, they feel blessed to share inspiring true stories with children across the globe.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

The cycle of life is a circle. What starts as a seed in freshly tilled soil blossoms to a life that is enjoyed by all, including the one who planted the seeds. But that doesn’t complete the circle. It continues until the summer season ends and the flowers droop, letting the seeds fall to the earth. And it continues in the fall when the stalks are harvested for creative ventures. And it continues through the winter while the gardener awaits the blossoms of spring and the hope of another circle. That is the circle of a very special flower: the sunflower. Its bright yellow circle attracts all kinds of wildlife and insect life to enjoy its hidden treasures. It also attracts the one who planted it, who comes daily to watch it grow and watch other life enjoy its nurturing blossoms.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a sunflower in full bloom. A field of sunflowers is a sight to behold. A circle of sunflowers is a vibrant metaphor of life itself. Scott Wright’s picture book story, Sunflower Circle, is a treasure. The beauty is in the story, but it is also in the spectacular color photographs that illustrate the story. And the message is clear: that everything in life completes a circle and everything in life is meant to be enjoyed at every stage of the circle. For, in observing each moment, each little aspect of beauty in the circle, we can discover who we are and how we fit into this circle. “We are One with everything and everyone, including the Sunflowers.” A powerful story for young readers, but one that will also be enjoyed by all ages.

Jack Magnus

Sunflower Circle is a nonfiction educational picture book for children and adults written and photographed by Scott Wright. Now that winter had ended, Helio wondered what he should do with that forlorn patch of dirt in his yard. The soil looked tired and worn, and Helio knew there hadn’t been plants growing there for some years. Helio wasn’t a gardener, and he really didn’t want to put a lot of hard effort into the plot, but he knew something would come to him. So, he asked for inspiration from Mother Earth. First, he would try to break up the hardened ground, and then add compost to make a rich soil layer. Then, he decided, he would grow sunflowers, big sunflowers -- as tall as he was. Helio would grow a circle of them. He carefully planted each seed, watered the plot, and checked each morning. Suddenly, there were little seedlings throughout his plot, and each day they grew by leaps and bounds.

Scott Wright’s nonfiction educational and environmental book for children, Sunflower Circle, is a lush and lovely book that shows step-by-step the growth cycle of sunflowers and the insects and birds who are nourished by these amazing plants. Wright’s photography is outstanding, especially the macro shots which show so clearly the details of each flower. His story covers the seasons as well as introducing heliotropism and how some flowers actually turn during the day to keep facing the sun. This book will have everyone planning their own sunflower circles next spring, and that’s a good thing indeed. Sunflower Circle is most highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

Walk with Helio in Sunflower Circle by Scott Wright as he discovers the magical touch of nature. In the beginning, Helio, not being a gardener, is clueless of how he can utilize his garden after a long dreary winter. He is also not sure he is ready to put in the work needed in gardening. However, he is determined to transform his patch of land and starts tilling it as he thinks of what to plant. Then the idea strikes him - sunflowers! What better crop to plant than sunflowers which are a source of food and capture the brightness of summer with their large, beautiful yellow petals? The seedlings grow into long majestic stalks with little buds that form into flowers. They transform his garden and nurture wildlife. The once desolate patch of dirt is now a thriving circle of life. Sunflower Circle is a children's book, Grade K-3rd, and contains beautiful photography that highlights the process and progress in planting sunflowers.

Scott Wright explores the transforming power of nature. In Sunflower Circle, he inspires young minds through capturing the wonderful moments of the sunflowers’ life cycle and enables young readers to be captivated by what nature has to offer. As I read the book, I could almost feel the serenity, beauty, and rejuvenation that come with watching the process of growth from the start. Sunflower Circle is a great read for anyone who needs the inspiration to start gardening, especially children. It reminded me how just a couple of seeds can alter a whole landscape and inspire fascination with the process of planting.

K.J. Simmill

Sunflower Circle by Scott Wright is a children's Grade K-3rd targeted story. This is an interesting tale of man and nature following the life cycle of the sunflower. Scott Wright begins by tending and preparing a plot of land ready to grow something. After much reflection, he plants a circle of sunflowers. We follow their growth from beginning to end, watching their life and the interactions they have with the world around them as the author returns daily to sit within the circle, connecting with the earth and nature while watching to see how all things seem connected.

A sunflower is a vibrant, magnificent flower, captured with beautiful photography by author Scott Wright. Sunflower Circle explores nature, life cycles, and the interconnectedness of all living things. It isn't just a book about watching sunflowers grow; it talks about how each of nature's visitors to the plant changes its face, creating a unique flower. It has some interesting information, like how to prepare soil for planting, watering, even how to harvest the seeds and what precautions should be taken to avoid injury. Perhaps the most interesting application for me was the making of a walking stick from the largest stalk and its roots. This was something I had never even considered. As a nice touch, at the end of the book, once the seeds are harvested, they are sent to others so they may grow their own, allowing the sunflowers he grew to be shared with others and spread their reach far and wide. Written in level appropriate language, Sunflower Circle is a fun and educational read enhanced by the pictures which could also serve to aid anyone planning to grow their own sunflower circle.

Rosie Malezer

Sunflower Circle is a book of inner discovery for young readers, which is written and photographically illustrated by Scott Wright. A man named Helio looks at the ground and wonders what to plant. Hit by inspiration as his bare feet sink into the freshly tilled soil, he chooses to sow sunflower seeds. Helio pays careful attention to the plants, marvelling as they grow and observing how they behave in such an amazing manner, paying homage to the sun, the seasons and to Nature’s visiting animals. At the end of the sunflowers’ incredible life cycle, Helio forges a walking stick from the largest remaining stem of his beloved sunflowers once the winter months have arrived.

I was absolutely mesmerized at how well this was written. Although birds and squirrels frequent my yard many times daily, along with many other animals looking for their sunflowery goodness in the seeds that are provided to them, I had never really paid much thought or attention to how those seeds were created until reading Scott Wright’s wonderful tale. Sunflower Circle would easily capture the interest of younger audiences which are targeted in this enlightening tale, as well as those of us who are older and feel a natural affinity to Nature and the offerings within.

I loved how Scott Wright was able to completely immerse me in the story of a simple, yet complex flower – something which no other author has managed to accomplish. Regardless of my Pagan faith, I see nature as beautiful and something to be cherished, but have never fully looked into how a flower can be so simple, yet so complex and fulfilling at the same time. I recommend Sunflower Circle to readers of all ages who are at one with Nature and who look forward to seeing the beauty of how it works from within.