Anno's Magic Seeds

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Overview

A gift from a wizard makes Jack's fortune grow by ones and twos, then threes and fours, then faster and faster, challenging you to keep track of his riches.

"The real wizard is the renowned Japanese author and illustrator, who has found yet another way to introduce numbers and counting with wit and ...
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Overview

A gift from a wizard makes Jack's fortune grow by ones and twos, then threes and fours, then faster and faster, challenging you to keep track of his riches.

"The real wizard is the renowned Japanese author and illustrator, who has found yet another way to introduce numbers and counting with wit and charm...Endlessly rewarding." --The New York Times Book Review

"Children old enough to enjoy brain teasers will have fun working this out." --Kirkus Reviews, pointer review

"A tour de force from a most original author-illustrator." --The Horn Book

The reader is asked to perform a series of mathematical operations integrated into the story of a lazy man who plants magic seeds and reaps an increasingly abundant harvest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anno Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jug; Anno's Hat Tricks offers another worthy addition to his collection of playful stories with mathematical themes. A brief prelude tells of a wizard who gives happy-go-lucky Jack two golden seeds and directs him to eat one and bury the other: "I promise you it will grow and give you 2 more magic seeds in the fall." Jack does as he is told, and the cycle repeats for a number of years, until Jack decides one fall to bury both seeds. As Jack buries more and more seeds each consecutive year, readers are challenged with a series of questions "How many seeds grew that year?"; "How many seeds did they bury?". The mathematical gymnastics become even more rigorous as Jack marries, has a child, begins to store some seeds and sell others... until a hurricane wipes out the crops and Jack must begin all over again. Kids on the older end of the targeted age span will have fun with this, and although the arithmetic is well beyond those on the younger end, they'll enjoy Anno's lilting, linear narrative-as well as his soft, appealingly primitive watercolors. Ages 3-7. Feb.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A happy-go-lucky young man and some magic seeds are the familiar elements of this deceptively simple tale. Anno provides the enchantment. An old man gives Jack two golden seeds and a simple formula for becoming self-sufficient. He faithfully follows the directions, eating one of the seeds, which amazingly takes care of his hunger for the year, and planting the other the following spring, which produces two new seeds. He enjoys several years of easy subsistence until he decides to fend for himself one winter and plant both seeds. The next and each successive season begin a geometric progression of harvests-2 sprouts produce 4 seeds (one of which he eats), 3 plants produce 6 seeds, 5 yield 10, etc. In no time at all, he has a bountiful surplus and shares his wealth first with Alice, who becomes his wife, and eventually their son. Even when a hurricane devastates their crops and storehouse, 10 seeds are saved and the family begins anew. Anno illustrates the multilayered story (and its mathematical operations) with his trademark spare, clear watercolors using metallic gold circles to represent the stored seeds and red ones for those that are consumed. Pictorially and conceptually, he explores the fundamental magic of planting and harvesting crops in this celebration of life and its many riches.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Carolyn Phelan
ges 58. Jack meets a wizard who gives him two magic seeds and instructs him to eat one, which wil sustain him for a full year, and to plant the other. The following spring, the plant bears two seeds. Jack eats one and plants the other, as he does for several years until he determines to plant both seeds. The next year he has two plants each bearing two seeds, so he eats one seed and plants the other three. Six seeds! As the years go by, he marries, raises a family, plants many crops, endures a flood, and saves enough seeds to feed his family and start planting again. Told in folktale style, this symbolic story charts the development of agriculture. Teachers could use the eating, planting, harvesting, marketing, and storing of precise numbers of seeds as a mathematics lesson though expect some confusion around the eighth year, but underlying the plot is a celebration of life's goodness and of the fundamental magic of planting a seed and watching it grow. From the first simple pictures of Jack and his plant to the last double-page spread echoing Millet's painting "The Angelus", Anno's pleasing watercolor artwork illuminates this thoughtfully designed picture book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399225383
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitsumasa Anno was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the highest honor attainable in the field of children's book illustration in 1984.  His original art will be displayed at the gallery opening of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Northhampton, MA.  Mr. Anno lives in Japan. 

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A beautifully illustrated story picture book about multiplication

    The Japanese illustrations are lovely and the writing good. Good for teaching--by families or teachers--the concept of multiplication. From a teacher and a mama.

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