If you are looking for a story about inclusion, acceptance, and welcoming, this award-winning book on cultural diversity is for you! This is a story about a sunflower, Suzy, that blows into a perennial garden. Mr. Gardener considers anything that he has not planted, a weed. Mrs. Gardener fell in love with this unplanned sunflower. Mr. Gardener not knowing how loved the sunflower is and considering it a weed, pulls it out. He sees how upset Mrs. Gardener is by his action. Out of compassion and love, he plants the seed of Suzy Sunflower and adds a drip line for her. And yes, she comes back the next summer in all her shining beauty. This is a Purple Dragonfly book award winner that shows how love is infinite and to welcome even the unplanned, into our garden.
Sonja Lange Wendt is an award-winning author of the Cultivating Compassion in Children books series. Her books are intergenerational and address important and sometimes difficult topics with children on inclusion, acceptance, disabilities, bullying and aging. Serina and Seymour Seed kick off and end each story. Seymour and Serina are the seeds of compassion children have, but sometimes they need planting and nurturing to cultivate the best in them. Through increasing awareness, understanding and discussion, these books teach that using compassion in different situations shows kindness in the greatest way in this sometimes difficult to navigate world.
Sonja uses a variety of setting and characters from grandparents, little girl, little boy, and bugs to engage children in the stories. The settings all include nature and the outdoors. Each story ends with thought provoking questions to be asked by the adult and discussed with the child.
These books are generally fitting for children ages 4-8 but as C.S. Lewis states, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Her books are brilliantly illustrated with vivid colors and scenery.
A while back a close friend of mine was pregnant with her second child. She was genuinely concerned about the love for this second child. I didn't understand. She said she loved her first child so much how could she possibly have enough love to give to her second child? Well, she had her second child, and she did love him just as much. She loved the second child just as deeply as the first.
Love isn't finite. Just because someone or something else enters our life, our garden of life like Suzy Sunflower blew into as described in this story, doesn't mean that we have to take away love from someone else. LOVE IS INFINITE. Welcome into your garden with wide open arms someone or something else. Your love will grow, and GROW, AND GROW. Then there will be more love in YOUR garden than you ever had before! Share the love.
(this award winning book is available through Amazon at