A 2022 Caldecott Honor BookHave You Ever Seen a Flower? is a beautiful exploration of perception, the environment, and humanity. This enchanting picture book explores the relationship between childhood and nature. In this simple yet profound story, one child experiences a flower with all five senses--from its color to its fragrance to the entire universe it evokes--revealing how a single flower can expand one's perspective in incredible ways. CELEBRATION OF NATURE: Full of bright, stunning illustrations, Have You Ever Seen a Flower? reminds readers of all ages to appreciate the beauty of the world. INCREDIBLE TALENT: Have You Ever Seen a Flower? is the authorial debut of award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris. His previous illustrated books have garnered multiple awards and starred reviews, including Her Right Foot and What Can a Citizen Do (both by Dave Eggers), Everyone's Awake by Colin Meloy, and A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett. CRITICS LOVE IT: This award-winning book has received praise from numerous esteemed publications. Highlights include: "[A] stunning tour de force."--The New York Times "The pictures have a rich visual texture, vibrant color, and a naive style, which together imply a child as ostensible artist. This effect is well aligned with the playfully inquisitive text, with rhythm and repetition akin to books by Margaret Wise Brown and Ruth Krauss. . . . Have you ever seen a book quite like this? Not likely."--The Horn Book Magazine Perfect for:
- Parents and caregivers seeking a read-aloud with thought-provoking questions
- Nature lovers
- Birthday, baby shower, or seasonal gift
- Fans of The Little Prince, The Giving Tree, Not a Box, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- ISBN-13: 9781452182704
- ISBN-10: 1452182701
- Publisher: Chronicle Books
- Publish Date: May 2021
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 11.2 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Page Count: 48
- Reading Level: Ages 3-5
Have You Ever Seen a Flower?
Some books offer a chance to escape, while others provide space for contemplation and reflection. It’s the rare book that does both. Bursting with insight, Shawn Harris’ Have You Ever Seen a Flower? transforms a trip to the mountains into a spirited voyage into our very consciousness.
The book begins with a tiny, colorful child, the only pop of brightness amid an intricate graphite city. Buildings tower around her, looming and glum. When the girl gets in a car and travels down a dark road away from the city, gray buildings give way to white emptiness before the book explodes with color. The vibrant hues that once gilded only the girl now surround her, with fields of warm-toned flowers and triangular mountains filled with all the shades of the rainbow. The illustrations grow and bloom surrealistically, as outstretched arms become the leaves of flowers, reaching toward the sun, and a drop of blood from a pricked finger becomes a meadow of crimson blossoms.
All the while, Harris addresses readers directly in a series of wide-eyed observations and imaginative questions. “Have you ever seen a flower using nothing but your nose? Breathe deep . . . what do you see?” His language is playful and sprinkled with subtle moments of alliteration and assonance.
Composed of sweeping colored pencil strokes, Harris’ art has a simplicity that belies its expert use of negative space and perspective. The illustrations don’t just carry the book’s narrative; they also deliver a beautiful metaphor as Have You Ever Seen a Flower? builds to an astonishing, all-encompassing declaration of connectedness: We are all flowers.
Have You Ever Seen a Flower? is an invitation to pause and take a moment to feel, imagine and experience the worlds around us and inside us. Its joy, color and hopefulness will ignite the imagination of anyone lucky enough to experience its magic.