Project Description

When Young Melissa Sweeps

by Nancy Byrd Turner
illustrated by Debrah Santini

When young Melissa sweeps, her broom becomes her dancing partner. Together they turn a common chore into an adventure.

Jigs and reels, a waltz, and a Highland fling—s even the two cats get swept away by Melissa’s boundless energy and imagination.

A charming poem penned by Nancy Byrd Turner and originally published in an anthology entitled Magpie Lane in 1927, When Young Melissa Sweeps comes to life with illustrator Debrah Santini’s graceful and fluid artwork, capturing both Melissa’s movement across the page and her unflinching optimism.

This book is out of print

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-157-9
Publication Date: 3/1/1998
Page Count: 30
Size: 9-1/2 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English

F&P: GRL M, Gr 2, Genre RF
Themes: Attitude, Cleaning, Dancing, Poetry


“This exuberant poem captures the enthusiasm and imagination children can bring to the most ordinary task…. Santini’s watercolors dance across the page as well, giving Melissa a down-to-earth, real girl look, comical (with bare feet and flying ponytail) but also graceful in every line. A pair of comical cats add to the fun of this light, winsome picture book.” ―Booklist

Meet the Author

Nancy Byrd Turner was born in 1880. She published a number of poems, novels, and song lyrics for children during her lifetime. She also served on the editorial staff of Youth Companion, Atlantic Monthly, and The Independent Magazine. She passed away in 1971.

Meet the Illustrator

Debrah Santini has illustrated a number of children’s books. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is a faculty member of the art department at West Georgia College.