Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"When Young Melissa Sweeps" by Nancy Byrd Turner & illustrated by Debrah Santini

About the book:  When young Melissa sweeps, her broom becomes her dancing partner, and together they turn a common chore into an adventure.

When young Melissa sweeps, her broom becomes her dancing partner, and together they turn a common chore into an adventure. Amidst a series of jigs and reels, a waltz, and the Highland fling, even the two cats get swept away by Melissa's boundless energy and imagination.

A poem penned by Nancy Byrd Turner and originally published in an anthology entitled Magpie Lane in 1927, When Young Melissa Sweeps comes to life with illustrator Debrah Santini's graceful and fluid artwork, capturing young Melissa's movement across the page as well as her unflinching optimism.

Review:  This lovely book is in the form of a poem and the energy of Melissa and the poem is captured by the lovely illustrations that capture each line of the story-poem beautifully.  The author, Deborah Santini, references the Bible verse Colossians 3:23 on the inside cover of the book. This Bible verse refers to doing "all for the glory of God." This story-poem shows Melissa turning an ordinary cleaning job into a time to worship God.  Melissa clearly does her best while sweeping with a broom.
"If ever you are
full of gloom,
Just watch Melissa
sweep a room!"
This is an inspiring book to all girls that clean or perhaps help their mother clean. I feel that girls ages 8-12 may enjoy this book. The illustrations will inspire any reader and the soft colors are lovely. I enjoyed the book, but the illustrations enhance this book and give it the status of "keeper" for any library.
"They caper,
With a whirl or two
They make the wainscot
shine like new;"
Author & Illustrator:  Nancy Byrd Turner was born in 1880. She published a number of poems, novels, and song lyrics for children during her lifetime. She also served on the editorial staff of Youth Companion, Atlantic Monthly, and The Independent Magazine. She died in 1971.

Debrah Santini has illustrated a number of children’s books. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is a faculty member of the art department at West Georgia College.

DISCLOSURE: We received a complimentary copy of When Melissa Dances from Peachtree Publishers in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

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