When the Shadbush Blooms Review By Booklist 6\2020
Lee & Low revives this beautiful #OwnVoices look at the seasons, as experienced by the Lenni Lenape people, which was originally published in 2007 by Tricycle Press and had fallen out of print. A multigenerational tale unfolds through rich acrylic scenes painted on double-page spreads, upon which the left page shows a family’s great-great-grandparents engaged in activities with their children that mirror those unfolding during the present day on the right. An entire year is depicted, with time marked as the Lenape traditionally have observed it—through telling shifts in nature, such as the “Grass and Geese Moon” and the “Heartberry Moon,” and through activities the Lenape people associate with specific times of year, as with the “Planting Moon” and the “Moon of Roasting Ears of Corn.” The seamless integration of the past with the present gently but powerfully shows the enduring power of tradition and history, while also highlighting the cyclical aspect of nature. Informative back matter provides more detail on the Lenni Lenape people, seasons, and culture. A lovely, enriching offering.
"The language is crystalline, pure and sparkling, nothing wasted, nothing more needed. When the Shadbush Blooms is a delightful way to introduce young readers to the lives and ways of American Indians."
Karen Cody Cooper, National Museum of the American Indian
"A beautiful volume. When the Shadbush Blooms is one of those rarest of volumes in children's literature: a picture book that is not just about American Indians, but is a true sharing and celebration of a vibrant people. It's a book that deserves to be in every school and library."
Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki storyteller and author
"Over and against the plethora of multicultural writing for children, this is the one I would choose to show them our pre-conquest lives."
Doris Seale, Cree, Dakota, and Abenaki poet, editor/author of Through Indian Eyes, A Broken Flute
"While the beautiful illustrations may first attract you to When the Shadbush Blooms, the words that describe the feeling of joy children take in their families now, and took long ago, will hold you and any child. Kids will ask you to read and reread the story. While it describes the Original People, it applies to all people and to the strength of families everywhere."
Susan Gilbert Beck, librarian and teacher
"Teachers will be thrilled with the authority the author brings to the story and the wealth of information contained in a short picture book."
Peggy Dilner, University of Delaware
"Informative and useful, a gentle introduction to the fact that Native Americans are an important part of our history and of our present."
"When the Shadbush Blooms is a poem, a song, a prayer for Earth and her inhabitants."
Oyate, the organization dedicated to evaluating children's books about Native Americans