A crown for Corina

Laekan Zea Kemp

Book - 2023

Corina's Abuela helps her select flowers that mean something to Corina from the garden for her Mexican flower crown that she will wear on her birthday, and explains the symbolic meaning of a birthday crown.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Kemp On Holdshelf
+1 Hold
Children's Room jE/Kemp Due Jun 14, 2024
Children's stories
Picture books
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2023.
Main Author
Laekan Zea Kemp (author)
Other Authors
Elisa Chavarri (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
40 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Ages 4-8.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

It is Corina's birthday, and Abuela is helping her build a birthday crown using beautiful flowers from her garden. Abuela explains that "every flower in your crown must tell your story . . . who you are and where you come from." Corina eagerly explores the garden, finding connections between the flowers and important people or things in her life. She picks bluebonnets, a sunflower, sword lilies, morning glories, and coneflowers to adorn her crown, and she shares the story of its meaning with her guests. She wears it into the night as she reflects upon a starry sky, finding a strong sense of self and welcoming the year to come. Kemp movingly uses the setting of Abuela's flower garden to encourage young readers to explore their roots and who they might want to be. Corina's crown ultimately represents her identity and sense of belonging, and the bright and bustling artwork, jam-packed with colorful flowers of all kinds, emphasizes how lively and wide-ranging Corina's connections can be. A warm meditation on family, perfect for sharing with a grandparent.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this picture book debut from Kemp (Heartbreak Symphony), a Latinx child named Corina celebrates a birthday by making a flower corona using personally significant flowers from Abuela's garden. Sensory-focused, expectant first-person narration draws readers in: "It looks like la tierra is throwing una fiesta. Today, the party is for me." Watercolor images from Chavarri (I'll Hold Your Hand) bring Abuela's sprawling, variegated planting to lush life as Corina picks flowers that offer reminders of family: a sunflower for Mamá's favorite color, morning glories that resemble the trumpet Abuelo once played, and sword lilies that signify pretend sword fights with Papá. Next are flowers that represent the future, including hope-suggesting esperanzas and strong daisies. After Corina's garden party comes and goes, night brings with it the end of a birthday, a wilting crown, and a reminder about family and memory. Highlighting seasonal cycles and the natural passage of time, it's a lushly told story that emphasizes the role of the past in the present and future: when Corina asks Abuela why their family wears crowns, she replies that "when we place la corona on our head, we become its roots, reaching back through time to hold on to the things that matter." Ages 4--8. Author's agent: Andrea Morrison, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Claire Easton, Painted Words. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--It is Corina's birthday, and as a special gift, she is able to select her favorite flowers from Abuela's garden to use to make her corona. With help from Abuela, Corina learns about selecting flowers that hold special meaning to her, which will help tell the story of who she is. Corina thinks about her family and selects flowers that remind her of them: sunflowers, morning glories, coneflowers, and more. She also makes sure to select blooms that symbolize who Corina would like to be. Corina's crown of flowers is finally ready as her birthday guests arrive, and she shares the story of her corona and thinks about her family and their story long into the night. Lush watercolor illustrations showcase Abuela's garden and the joy that is bursting inside of Corina. Colorful and vivid spreads welcome readers to the garden and the celebrations, sharing the beauty of Corina's world and the love shared with family and friends. The text follows Corina and Abuela as they enjoy this important time together, with Corina asking Abuela about the corona as she explores the garden, and Abuela sharing the importance of family. VERDICT A gorgeous picture book celebrating tradition, family, and memories. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.--Selenia Paz

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

It's Corina's birthday, which means the biggest and most beautiful crown is hers. The corona that Corina will be wearing won't be silver or gold, though--it will be made from the loveliest flowers picked from Abuela's garden. The garden explodes with colorful blossoms, and Corina spends time with her grandmother selecting the best flowers for the birthday crown. Abuela reminds her that "every flower in your crown must tell your story, Corina. Who you are and where you come from." Taking this charge to heart, Corina carefully chooses blooms with special meaning. Bluebonnets remind Corina of her beloved pet rabbit's tail, and sunflowers and sword lilies remind her of her parents. A walk through the garden weaves together past, present, and future as Corina and Abuela construct her corona. Corina's smile shines as bright as her floral birthday crown, and even after the flowers fade, her memories of a very special day stay strong. Lush botanical illustrations are paired with a timeless message about the importance of family. Corina's memories of time spent with loved ones are set against a rich garden tapestry of vibrant colors, enhancing this sincere story. Corina and her family members are Latine, with brown skin and black or gray straight hair. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A heartwarming story blooming with tenderness. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.