Lilla's Sunflowers by Colleen Rowan Kosinski
Lilla’s Sunflowers by Colleen Rowan Kosinski Published by Sky Pony Press

Lilla and Papa enjoy spending magical times in Lilla’s sunflower patch. Before Papa leaves for a trip that will take him far away from home for a long time, Lilla gives him a sunflower seed. “To remember me, Papa,” Lilla whispers.

Seasons pass, and Lilla’s mood falls like autumn leaves. Finally, news comes that her papa is coming home! The following summer, to her surprise, she receives letters from families with photos of their loved ones pictured with sunflowers. She learns that her gift to her father brightened the dark days for many people, and that her one small seed continued spreading sunshine across the country.

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Enjoy the trailer!

What some readers are saying about Lilla's Sunflowers!

  • OO-RAH! Ms. Kosinski on her sensitive handling of the issue of separation. This is a great book for all families with one parent gone on extended travel...especially for all the military families out there. The sparse text perfectly captures the melancholy and longing military children feel for the missing parent. The life cycle of the sunflowers in Lilla's garden mimic the deployment cycle in a way. When the military parent leaves, there is an optimistic hope that "this won't be so bad." Often there are parties and visits from relatives before and after the departure. As her sunflowers droop, Lilla's hope droops, too... much like every military child's would when a parent is missing at games, plays, recitals and birthdays. The illustrations are gorgeous and may spark the planting of sunflowers on military bases around the world.  ~ N. Gambleon


  • Many children will find this story helpful if they have parents who travel a lot or friends who live in different locations. An excellent choice for communities with large populations in the military.–Barbara Spiri, Southborough Library, MA

    School Library Journal - August 2016 Edition

  • My husband and I have a 5 year old daughter, and have been struggling to find an age appropriate book about this exact subject matter.  My husband will be deployed to Iraq for all of 2017.  Your book will be tremendously helpful to our family during this time.  Thank you so much!! p.s. We are totally stealing your sunflower seed idea.

    M. Krug

  • Lilla’s Sunflowers is an adorable story, how one little girl coped with her father’s deployment. If you have a loved one going through a similar situation this is a good book to help talk about their feelings and let them know they are not alone.

    Shanna -

  • This warm and gentle book says so much through its pictures as well as the text. The theme of Papa being away for a long period of time is one that so many children can relate to. I love this story!


  • Stunning illustrations and lyrical writing make this a stand out debut picture book. Children of military families and children who miss a parent will resonate with this story and the added layer that helps children learn the benefits of thinking about others makes it something that all children can learn from and read. Fantastic book for any child and parent to read and discuss and enjoy.

    K. Call

  • Lilla's Sunflowers is absolutely beautiful.   It shows how the love between Lilla and her dad touches the lives of many. The language is lovely and the images are breath-taking. Lilla's Sunflowers is a story you will read over and over again because it warms your heart and like Lilla, makes you smile. The story shows how a seemingly small, but heartfelt gesture can make a difference and affect many others. It's a great story to share with child because it shows how one person, a little person, can spread hope and love and make a BIG difference, just like Lilla did. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

    PB reader

  • Beautiful, Touching Story This warm and gentle book says so much through its pictures as well as the text. The theme of Papa being away for a long period of time is one that so many children can relate to. I love this story!

    D. Frybarger

  •   This is a wonderful story and beautifully illustrated

    M. Benjamin

  • Heartfelt story. Simply beautiful illustrations. #Winning

    A. Flora

  • So cute! I absolutely LOVE the illustrations - such talent! Perfect for storytime.


  • What a heartwarming story! I read the book to my girls and we loved it. Lilla's Sunflowers struck a special chord in our hearts, because I just returned from my own military deployment far from home

    M. Lontoc

Lilla's Sunflowers ★ Colleen Rowan Kosinski © 2016 All Rights Reserved