Monday, April 8, 2013

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers
by Kathy Appelt; illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein
40 pages; ages 4 and up
Harper Collins, 2005

One year I got a packet of seeds in the mail - seeds of native wildflowers that came from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I remember Lady Bird as a First Lady who loved bluebonnets, who encouraged people to plant poppies and black-eyed Susans along roadsides, who thought every child should know the beauty of our native wildflowers.

What I didn't know about Lady Bird is enough to fill a book - which, it turns out, Katthy Appelt wrote and Joy Fisher Hein filled with color. Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers is a biography of Claudia Alta Taylor - who was just as purty as a lady bird ... a colorful beetle. So that's how she was known, from the time she was knee-high to a grasshopper and through all her time as First Lady living in the White House. I never knew Lady Bird sang spring songs to daffodils and paddled a canoe through the cypress swamps. While I knew she was educated, I never gave much thought about how, back in 1930, it was unusual for a young southern woman to pack up her car and head to college.

Appelt writes a heartwarming story about a down-to-earth First Lady. At the back she includes information about the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - where you can find a list of native flowers for your region and more information about planting than you can shake a trowel at. She also includes a key to common wildflowers along with a challenge to find them in the book.

This is a perfect book for spring because now's the time to head to the garden center and buy a packet or two of wildflower seeds for your region. Surely there's room somewhere around your home or neighborhood to plant some beauty.

This is part of the Nonfiction Monday round-up. You can find more reviews of kid's nonfiction over at a wrung sponge. Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.


  1. I honestly never realized that was not her given name!

    1. me neither... I always thought: what a cool name to have. And I wanted a "bird name" too!

  2. I am so thankful Lady Bird pushed all those wildflowers! Some of my best childhood memories include gazing at wildflowers on the side of the roads on family vacations. I adore black-eyed Susans and Chicory still!

  3. Oh! I really need to get this book! Being a Texan, I know all about Ms Lady Bird! She's our Best 1st Lady! Her wildflower center is spectacular. A great place for a leisurely hike. This looks like such a lovely tribute to her. Thanks for sharing!