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Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First…

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America (udgave 2005)

af Kathi Appelt (Forfatter)

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1549139,971 (4.12)Ingen
A biography of Lady Bird Johnson who, as the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, reminded citizens about the importance of conserving natural resources and promoted the beautification of cities and highways by planting wildflowers.
Titel:Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America
Forfattere:Kathi Appelt (Forfatter)
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Edition: 1st, 40 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America af Kathi Appelt


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In this lovely picture-book biography, author Kathi Appelt and illustrator Joy Fisher Hein, both natives of Texas, tell the story of Claudia Alta Taylor, better known to America and the world as Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady of the United States from 1963 through 1969. Born in 1912, just outside the village of Karnak, Texas, she got her unusual nickname from a childhood nanny, and she grew up with a great love of wildflowers. The Texas Bluebell, in particular, brought Lady Bird comfort after the death of her mother. Meeting and falling in love with Lyndon Baines Johnson while a student at the University of Texas, Lady Bird joined him in his life in Washington, D.C., first as the wife of a congressman, then as Second Lady, when Johnson was Vice President, and finally as First Lady. She worked consistently on programs to clean up and beautify public spaces, from parks to freeways, and the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was informally named after her, being known as "Lady Bird's Bill." Many years later, after the death of her husband, Lady Bird helped to found the National Wildflower Research Center, now named after her, outside Austin, Texas...

Although familiar with the figure of Lady Bird Johnson, and aware of her importance to the Highway Beautification Act - there's an amusing but rather impolite joke about this, in the film Good Morning, Vietnam - I actually knew very little about her life, going in to Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America. I sought out the book because an online friend had reviewed it positively, and am glad I did - thank you, Kathryn! - as I found it informative, engaging, and beautiful. The narrative here really focuses on Lady Bird's lifelong love for flowers, and it does a good job of explaining why that love was so strong. I was particularly happy to learn of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and its role in research and conservation, as I think this highlights the important legacy of this woman's work, which I have sometimes seen dismissed as merely decorative, and therefore somehow superficial. I have enjoyed other books from author Kathi Apelt before, so I was not surprised to find the text here so engaging, but this was my first encounter with illustrator Joy Fisher Hein, and her artwork was something of a revelation. The illustrations here were just beautiful, with a gorgeous color palette, and a style that reminded me of Claire A. Nivola, which is surely a high compliment. I will definitely look for more of Hein's work, and for other picture-books about America's First Ladies, which is not a topic I have explored that deeply, in my reading. Recommended to young flower lovers, and to picture-book readers who enjoy biography or are interested in the history of conservation.

Addendum: I was surprised to see a critical review of Hein's artwork mentioning that all of the non Euro-American characters were depicted in a stereotypical fashion - the African-American nanny who named Lady Bird, the Mexican mariachi band playing during the scene from her Mexican honeymoon, the Japanese ladies in traditional kimono at the cherry tree planting in Washington - as these were scenes that actually occurred during the subject's life. Lady Bird did have an African-American nanny, she most likely experienced a mariachi band while on honeymoon in Mexico, and she most certainly planted a cherry tree together with a Japanese woman wearing a kimono. There's photographs documenting the latter, just as there are more recent photographs of Michelle Obama with a kimono-clad Japanese woman, viewing a cherry tree. Is the artist meant not to depict these true-to-life scenes, because this reviewer imagines they are stereotypical? What about all of the other non Euro-American characters in the book? For my own part, I liked the fact that although the main cast of characters - Lady Bird and her friends and family - were all Euro-American, Hein depicted a diverse range of people in many of the public scenes. When Lady Bird is walking beside the polluted Potomac River, children of all backgrounds are playing nearby, while on the page which discusses Lady Bird's belief that all children should be plant caretakers, we see young gardeners of all races depicted. Likewise, when discussing the scientists and ecologists who do their research at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a diverse range of people are shown.

As a general rule, I try not to respond directly to other amateur reviewers, in my own reviews, although I have always felt that professional reviews were fair game. That said, I found this other review so misleading, that I felt I needed to address the point it raised, lest potential readers be put off from picking up this excellent book. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 9, 2021 |
This book is about first lady Bird Johnson and her love for the environment. Her real name is Claudia Alta Taylor, and she received the name “Lady Bird” from her nanny when she was younger after a beetle that grew in the part of Texas where she grew up. She was also the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, but that was not what she was famous for. After President Kennedy death she had to take on her duty as the first lady and help the nation heal. So to do that she could have every park and highway side cleaned up; this is when she had the Highway Beautification Act passed by Congress. She also helped start the National Wildflower Research Center, where scientists were allowed to study the different ways in which wildflowers can be used. ( )
  umorgan | Oct 25, 2017 |
This is a Biography of a woman called Lady Bird Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson had always enjoyed flowers and nature growing up, and when she got older her husband was elected president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lady Bird was able to to do what she loved, growing flowers. Lady Bird is important because she is the reason the Highway Beautification Act was passed by congress. Because of this, the highways were finally cleared of signs and rusted cars.Throughout Lady Birds life, she went through many hardships such as her mother passing when she was a child, and her husband passing in 1973. Lady Bird continued to find comfort in flowers, wildflowers to be precise. Lady Bird was free-spirited, and the illustrations portrayed this with ease. Each page was filled with beautiful flowers, and at the end of the book is a page with pictures of flowers so that you can go back and find them in the illustration. This would be a captivating Biography to read to children, that also helps incorporate a fun interactive game by reflecting back to the illustrations. ( )
  asialandry | Oct 27, 2016 |
I wasn't really in the mood for another history/ biography picture-book, but since I'm a big fan of Kathi Appelt, I had to get this from the library system.  One copy in all of rural NV and in mint condition.  Too bad - it's a beautiful book that deserves a wider audience.  Appelt does have the talent to bring the story of Lady Bird's childhood influences, and then efforts on behalf of natural beauty, alive.  Hein's art is bright & clean, colorful & crisp.  A list of flowers that can be found in the pictures is one appendix, the other is a note about the Wildflower Center in Texas with a suggestion that we check out their website.  If you appreciate Highway Beautification or preservation of native plants, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A very informational book about Lady Bird Johnson and the beautiful things accomplished. ( )
  rwalsh06 | Oct 26, 2013 |
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Kathi Appeltprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Hein, Joy FisherIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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A biography of Lady Bird Johnson who, as the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, reminded citizens about the importance of conserving natural resources and promoted the beautification of cities and highways by planting wildflowers.

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