Every so often you come across a cute little children’s book that demands a spot on the already overflowing bookshelves in your children’s collection of well loved reads. The Tiniest Tumbleweed is a sliver of a paperback picture book that will barely take up any physical space in your child’s bedroom, but will command a huge space in their hearts.
The Tiniest Tumbleweed is a super sweet fictional children’s picture book about a tumbleweed that is the smallest member of its family. Tumbleweed’s counterpart, who doesn’t meet Tumbleweed until the end of the book, is a wee little Sonoran Desert neighbour Baby Sparrow. We meet both independently as they are born at the start of the book. Each one grows unbeknownst to each other in their respective environments and they worry about being too small. Will they ever grow as big as their siblings?
This adorable picture book will demand to be read nightly and definitely should remain firmly established as a part of any child’s bookshelf. I read this one aloud to my tween and teen and they both agreed it is incredibly sweet. I will save The Tiniest Tumbleweed for either of the girls to take along when they babysit other people’s children, and to read to my niece and nephews, ages 2 to 7 (the sweet spot for this book is 3 to 8, or maybe 9, in my opinion).
The illustrations in The Tiniest Tumbleweed, by Alex Lopez are world class and memorable. Illustrations are important and even before this book arrived here I was pondering how on earth anyone could make a tumbleweed cute or cuddly or animated. Lopez manages that and more. He is a father of identical triplets residing in Silicon Valley, California. He helped to inform my important first impression of the book. These are honestly some of the cutest characters I have seen in a long time here. Lopez is super talented and he manages to convey emotion with his drawings of each character. The tumbleweed and house sparrow are each vulnerable due to their size. Their challenge is to find confidence and acceptance of their size and personality.
Kathy Peach provides a lovely story about resiliency, acceptance, and self esteem, growth and family. There’s a smart, tidy, little message in here also that speaks to the ‘Grow where you are planted’ kind of theme. There’s a hint of educational content about biodiversity which is a topic that runs throughout curriculums of school children in grade 5 and 6 here in Canada. There’s also a strong educational aspect to the book which is much more than I expected from this fictional children’s book. What’s even more wonderful than all of that is the fact that Peach manages to hide some of these lessons well so children won’t even realize they are learning about things like habitat and biodiversity.
First time author Kathy Peach moved from Tennessee to the Arizona area and followed her dream of pursuing a college degree in her retirement years. She opted to study early childhood and early childhood special education and taught for the Head Start program in Phoenix for a time. She combines her knowledge of child development and her experience teaching, rolling both into a substantial book that can also be used as a springboard for many crafts, lessons inside a classroom, or conversation starters at home. There are talking points and facts provided at end of the book, The Tiniest Tumbleweed. There’s a section about the house sparrow that could lead a child to want to research more and potentially prepare a project on the topic matter. There are fun facts and a curriculum guide included that can spark even more curiosity in the reader.
The Tiniest Tumbleweed is a really special story with remarkable illustrations and bonus extras that help give this book added value. The Tiniest Tumbleweed should be part of every library for every child between the ages of 4 to 9. I would say this book appeals to ages 4 to 8 but could be extended to a grade four child if they are still growing into their reading ability or if they have any learning challenges. While The Tiniest Tumbleweed has a great message for any child, it will also resonate strongly with kids who have visible or invisible differences. The Tiniest Tumbleweed is published by Little Five Star, a division of Five Star Publications and is out in 2016. It is 35 pages long. You can win a copy early here.
I received a copy of this book for purposes of review here. My opinion is all my own and 100 % truthful. I have one copy of The Tiniest Tumbleweed to gift to a lucky reader here. Follow the instructions below to win. Open to Canada and the US.