My Grandparents' Daylilies
Authored and Illustrated by: Patrick Larsen
Editors: Grace & Patrick Stamile and John Ware
There has not been a children’s book written specifically about our favorite flower! The story starts off with a child named Kate who on her 10th birthday receives a cell phone from her parents. As the plot unfolds the child abuses cell phone privileges and regretfully becomes lost in an unfamiliar, downtown area. There is no negativity concerning the misuse of the phone, but there is regret on the part of the child and a lesson learned. During a summer visit to stay with her grandparents, Kate forms a close bond with them. Communication is easy and she enjoys being outside to help in their daylily garden. She can feel her grandparents passion for raising daylilies and their love for one another. While she was mulching flowers, someone surprisingly takes her picture with a cell phone. Although it is not important at the time, the child later remembers that her phone can record information. When Kate asks about the visitors, she learns that her grandparents’ have an official AHS display garden and they tell her about the types of flowers that are found there. The story continues with the grandfather teaching the child about how to create hybrids. She learns that anyone can pollinate a flower, but that hybridizers usually set goals in their hybridizing efforts. The watercolor illustrations make this story easy to follow as the art of hybridizing comes to life! The enthusiasm is at a high point when her grandfather gives Kate some marking tags! He describes how to use the tags and how crossings are noted when the seeds are collected. The grandfather points out the various characteristics of daylilies that hybridizers might want to enhance. One morning Kate gets up early and takes pictures in the garden with her cell phone. The next school year, we see Kate standing in front of her class giving a “show and tell” about daylilies. It is obvious from this scene that she has her images downloaded on a computer because a daylily can be seen on a monitor. After school that day Kate meets some of her friends at her house where she demonstrates how to pollinate a flower in her parent’s garden. The last scene depicts Kate as a young adult, volunteering in a city park. A group of students are carefully listening to Kate as she points to a special daylily registered by her grandfather, labeled as H. ‘Kate’s Love’. This book was printed in a hard back edition for children 8 years old to adult; however, younger children will enjoy the illustrative nature of the story.
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