Review: Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost

sweep up the sun

Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder (InfoSoup)

The pair who created Step Gently Out return with another gorgeous book connecting young readers to nature. This picture book focuses on birds and flight, using the metaphor to encourage young people to “fly” themselves and spread their own wings in life. The poem at the heart of the book is simple and lovely, creating a sense of wonder and opportunity. The photographs dynamically capture eleven species of birds in flight and in their natural habitats. There are wide-mouthed babies in the nest and incredible pictures of birds in full flight, like the one on the cover. This is a book that inspires both in words and images.

Frost is a gifted poet who has written novels in verse for older readers as well as picture books for younger readers. Her words here create a positive feeling of strength for the reader, showing them what is possible. At the same time, her poem is also beautifully written, creating imagery that is tangible and that will make sense for children. One of my favorites is that wings are “stitching earth to sky with invisible thread.”

Lieder’s photographs are simply stunning. He has captured birds in poses that are dramatic and amazing, leaving plenty of dappled light and green on the page for the poetry to shine next to his images. I found myself leaning into the book to look even more closely at the structure of wing and feather on the page.

I hope there will be more collaboration between these two since their first two books are so noteworthy. This vibrant picture book will be at home equally in units on birds and poetry. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:



Maine School Under Fire for Reading Transgender Children’s Book to Students #kidlit

A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’ – The dangers of security – #kidlit

Preview: The Atlas Powder Picture Book Company — @100scopenotes 100 Scope Notes #kidlit

There will be a documentary about banned Scary Stories books | News #kidlit

Way Beyond Fuddy-Duddy: New Libraries Bring out the Best in Students - Edutopia


ALA says "NO!" to Section 215 reauthorization gambit #libraries

‘Here to serve:’ Halifax libraries say they’re more welcoming, less rule-based, these days #libraries

Library-Themed Parody of Uptown Funk Song Goes Viral #libraries


Brian Conaghan’s top 10 controversial teen books #yalit

Q&A: ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ author Jay Asher on bullying and teen suicide prevention #yalit

The Selection – The Movie

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

Deadline has the news that Warner Bros has won the film rights to Kiera Cass’ The Selection. The CW network has twice tried to launch a TV series based on the book, but they never went anywhere beyond pilots.

Hat tip to Galley Cat.