My Sunflowers is a heart-warming and uplifting story of hard work, determination, and resilience; it will inspire young readers to appreciate the beauty of nature and the power of self-belief!
My Sunflowers follows the journey of a young girl named Millie, who grows vegetables with her parents in their family garden. Although Millie loves working in the garden, she longs to plant things of her own, not just vegetables. More than anything else, she wants to plant sunflowers. Much to her dismay, Millie’s parents continually discourage this idea, explaining that they personally have no interest in flowers that can’t be eaten, and that Millie is too young and inexperienced to take on the project herself. Determined to prove her parents wrong, Millie acquires and plants a sunflower seed anyway and begins to tend to it in secret. Despite the many obstacles that threaten the progress of her beloved sunflowers, Millie perseveres and commits to looking after her sunflowers no matter what, overcoming each challenge with grace and grit, as autumn approaches.

My Sunflowers is written in a simple and engaging style, with short paragraphs and clear language set against illustrations that encompass the entirety of the page. Pere does a great job of establishing Millie’s enthusiasm for gardening and setting the stage for how her well-meaning parents accidentally stifle her creativity, giving her the impression that they do not believe in her. The book has many positive messages and themes, such as the importance of believing in yourself, courage, resilience, hard work, and gratitude. Like many of Pere’s books, My Sunflowers is a thematically heavy story well-packaged to be perfectly suitable for children aged 8 and above. It can also be enjoyed by adults who appreciate a touching and uplifting story, serving as a reminder that may not always be obvious to them when they are unintentionally disempowering their children.

The illustrations by Catty Flores are stunning and vivid, capturing the essence of the story and the characters. Flores uses a rich palette of colors and, long before we see the fruits of Millie’s efforts, they are foreshadowed by the depiction of sunlight throughout the book. The sunflower is a symbol of hope and optimism, and the illustrations go a long way in showing how it brightens Millie’s life and rewards her for her determination.

Overall, My Sunflowers is a wonderful and inspiring book that celebrates the power of perseverance; it’s a great read for children who love a good story with a positive message and perfect for parents who wish to empower their children with the example of Millie’s strength and resolve.