kids review: June Bloomed Anyway (Ivy Strohmaier)


About This Book:

June is a California poppy happily living in Ms. Beansprout's garden with her poppy mother, father and brother. One day, June's father is unexpectedly replanted in the neighbor's garden and June has to learn that it is okay to cry and that feeling all of her emotions will ultimately make her stronger.

*Review Contributed by Elisha Jachetti, Staff Reviewer*

June Bloomed Anyway
JUNE BLOOMED ANYWAY is a beautiful kids book written by Ivy Strohmaier and illustrated by Cara McFarlane Varela. The story follows June, a young poppy flower who lives in a garden with her family. One day, the gardener picks June’s father and some cousins and plants them in another place where June can’t see them anymore. As a result, June has to learn how to live without them, finding some relief from dream visits and realizing they all share the same wind.

This story is such a gentle hug for anyone, especially a young child, dealing with loss of any kind— whether a friend or family member has passed away and they’re facing death for the first time, whether they’ve had to move away from their normal home and aren’t going to see all the people they’re used to seeing, or whether their parents are going through a divorce and the changes feel scary. JUNE BLOOMED ANYWAY teaches us that it’s okay and our tears will provide water for our growth.

Set against the beautiful backdrop of a California poppy garden, the illustrations are just as comforting as Strohmaier’s words. The colors are bright, warm, and hopeful, inviting readers to come in and take a seat in the sun alongside June. There are even a few pages with leaves blowing in the wind, which gives the subtle feeling of changing seasons, also a totally normal part of life— in essence providing the subtext that the ebb and flow of the world is inevitable, and what we can control is how we react to it.

JUNE BLOOMED ANYWAY is really a profound metaphor that can offer comfort to people of all ages. Because of that, it’s a story that should be on everyone’s bookshelves, and I look forward to more collaboration from these artists.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

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