Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Helen Frost
Illustrator: Rick Lieder
Sweep Up the Sun combines a brief and beautiful poem by author Helen Frost with the spectacular photography by Rick Lieder. The pictures, all of which capture a moment of a bird’s movement or stillness, take up the majority of each page. On the other hand the text unfolds slowly, nearly line by line, arranged on the pages to work around the photographs. The essence of the poem (presented, of course, with the imagery of a bird’s flight) is going out and explore the world, trying new things and trusting in yourself, and feeling at home whether alone or with others.
The photographs in this book make it impressive—they are absolutely stunning and depict fascinating details of a variety of magnificent birds. The words of the poem have good rhythm and flow, but the poem itself is less than extraordinary as both the individual words and overall message is likely to be lost on young children. Unlike most books that seem to be about words and have accompanying illustrations, this book is more about the illustrations and has accompanying words. Any bird lover would certainly be fond of this book, and basically any child or adult would find it enjoyable and intriguing.