I have always thought that picture books are a bit like a poem, beautifully laid out line by line, but, with the added dimension of illustrations to give the reader a richer experience. Helen Frost’s Sweep up the Sun, is the perfect example of this. She has taken a poem that she wrote and laid it out in a picture book format with Rick Lieder’s striking photographs of birds stretched across the pages. The pairings of words and photographs showing birds learning to fly, playing and soaring through sun, rain and snow seem simple in their elegance, but are clearly the result of thoughtful interplay between the author and photographer. In not clutter the beautiful pages with too much text, Frost has limited the text within the story to the lines of the poem and saved more information for the end of the book instead. There is wonderful additional material there about the birds included and their behaviors for those interested in learning more. This book is another in the stunning nature series by Lieder and Frost, which also includes, Step Gently Out, Among a Thousand Fireflies, and Wake Up!.
Suggested Ages – This book is appropriate for very young children who will be amazed by the photographs and respond to the rhythm of the poetry. Early readers can follow the simple text along and older students will appreciate the extra information at the end of the story.