Title: Call Me Sunflower
Author: Miriam Spitzer Franklin
Publisher: Sky Pony Press, 2017
Genre: children's fiction
Obtained: from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Summary: Sunny Beringer has just moved with her mom and sister Autumn from New Jersey to North Carolina, leaving her dad, cat, and all her friends behind. She will now have to attend middle school for sixth grade instead of continuing at her elementary school. She needs to come up with a "Super-Stupendous Plan" to get her mom and dad back together so that everything can return to normal. While carrying out her plan she comes across a photograph that changes everything.
Thoughts: What a bright, cheery cover! I couldn't wait to open this book to see what was inside after seeing this cover!
This book dealt with being true to yourself, not just taking the easy way out, what it means to be a friend, respecting differences, seeing different sides, all families are different, how secrets can hurt, parents separating, and how hard it can be to move and / or start at a new school. The story is narrated by Sunny, the main character. So, the reader learns all her thoughts and feelings first hand. She is a very well developed character that learns important life lessons throughout the story. The author seemed to be spot on with what would be going through the mind of a middle schooler.
The author's writing style is simple and direct. She has written a well-paced and engaging book. The characters and setting are brought to life through her writing. What stood out for me the most was the author's talent for writing so that the reader feels the emotions (both good and bad) that the protagonist is experiencing. Also, she does a fantastic job writing from the viewpoint of a sixth grader.
The publisher has recommended this book for ages 8 to 12. I would recommend it more for ages 10 to 14, but even adults and teens may enjoy it as I did. As I read this, I felt like younger kids would just not relate to what Sunny was going through, especially the transition to middle school. Also, one of the topics is cruelty to animals in relation to the production of fur coats. I know this would be disturbing to my 9 year old.
Tea: Fruit and Flower
Pickity Place is a beautiful place to go for lunch, walk through their herb gardens, and shop at their greenhouse and gift shop. For Christmas I received some herbal tea blends created at Pickity Place. Today I tried the Fruit and Flower blend. Their teas are packaged in resealable bags that keep the dried herbs fresh. This blend looked to be a mix of flower petals and dried fruit, but the scent was of licorice. I put one tablespoon of leaves in my tea ball and poured 10 ounces of water over the leaves. I let this brew for 5 minutes. The color was an exquisite red and the scent was of fruit. The taste of the liquid was of tart berries with a slight peppery after taste. This was a light, calming tea. As I was drinking it, I was thinking that in the summer it would be delicious iced with fresh berries from the garden added to the mix. Pickity Place does not have their herbal teas available to order online, but if you are an herb lover and are near Mason, NH, I highly suggest you stop in to Pickity Place for a visit. Reservations are required for lunch. So, definitely plan ahead.