Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I like that this story is about how one person can make a big difference.
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers – How a First Lady Changed America
By Kathi Appelt
Illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on February 15, 2005
Theme/Topic – Nonfiction, First Ladies, Nature
Opening and Synopsis –
“Deep in the heart of Texas lives a woman who loves flowers. “Wildflowers,” she says, “are the stuff of my heart!”
“There was a time when our roadsides were ugly. The were cluttered with billboards, rusted old cars, and miles of trash.
They might still be this way if not for the woman we know as Lady Bird Johnson.”
Claudia Alta Taylor was born on December 22, 1912 in Texas. Her nanny called her Lady Bird because she was pretty. This book tells the life of Lady Bird Johnson from her birth to her days in school to marrying Lyndon B Johnson and becoming the First Lady of the United States. Lady Bird Johnson with the help of her husband was able to get Congress to pass the “Highway Beautification Act” which cleaned up all the roads across America and planted wildflowers in the trash and junk’s place.
Why I liked this book – This is a great Nonfiction book! I like that it taught me about a person I didn’t know about – “Lady Bird” Johnson (I think maybe a lot of kids don’t know who she was). She was more than the wife of Lyndon B. Johnson (Heeeyy… I just realized! Both of their initials are “L.B.J.” 🙂 ). I liked learning about the National Wildflower Research Center that Lady Bird started and how they try to preserve wildflowers and birds. The story of her life is told in a nice way that was interesting to me. The story is pretty long and is a good picture book for older kids, but I think it would make a great read aloud for parents and kids. The illustrations are marvelous! When I was reading the book I thought the pictures really made me calm. See what I mean? –
Activities and Resources –
There is a wildflower identification spot it game in the back of the book. There are pictures of different wildflowers and you have to find them in the book.
I think driving around and looking at the wildflowers with your kids would be a good activity. Maybe get a field guide to try to identify native wildflowers in your area.
You could visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas in Austin (click HERE to go to their website). That would be a cool thing to do. If Texas isn’t close you could find a local nature center and see if they have information about wildflowers native to your area.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!