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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A beautiful, yellow-petalled flower is born. It reaches for the sun, soaking in the sun’s warm rays, and smiles with contentment. It loves the sun so much it has taken its name from the sun: Sunflower. But, when the sun disappears and clouds cover the sky, sending heavy rain its way, Sunflower feels dejected, defeated, and downright sad. It loses hope of ever seeing its beloved sun again. But then something magical happens, as the clouds move away and the night sky opens up. There is always hope; Sunflower just needs the courage to patiently wait for its hope to be fulfilled.
Felicia Sanders's picture book story, The Sunflower (The Sunflower Series Book 1), is a real gem. Beautifully illustrated and written in simple language so young readers can learn to read it themselves, the plot progresses nicely as Sunflower is born, reaches for the sun, and then falls into despair when rain clouds cover the sun. The climax is all about hope and patience, two things that are difficult for all of us to understand, accept, and apply to our lives. At the end of the book is a list of inspirational quotes to inspire young readers, like the unknown quote: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Sunflower had to learn this lesson and reach for the joy of the returning sun when it did take over the sky once again. This is a tender story, told with compassion. As it is the first of a series, I look forward to more books that will teach young readers some of the more complex sentiments of life.