Plant a Little Seed

Overview

With a little help from a watering can, bright sunlight, and a lot of patience, two friends plant seeds in their community garden and watch how they grow. Slowly, the seeds turn into sprouts, which grow into stems, followed by leaves and buds! The garden will soon be teeming with life and ready for a harvest season celebration. But until then, the children water and wait and dream . . .

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Overview

With a little help from a watering can, bright sunlight, and a lot of patience, two friends plant seeds in their community garden and watch how they grow. Slowly, the seeds turn into sprouts, which grow into stems, followed by leaves and buds! The garden will soon be teeming with life and ready for a harvest season celebration. But until then, the children water and wait and dream . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Christensen’s (The Princess of Borscht) sturdy, wood engraving–style illustrations show carrots, pumpkins, chard, and beans that look good enough to eat—but waiting is just as important a theme as eating in these verses (“We water and weed/ and dream and wait/ and water and wait some more”). Two neighbors, a yellow-haired girl and a dark-skinned boy, watch as the plants in their garden sprout, flower, then produce fruits and vegetables that they can’t help but sample: “When the fruit’s the perfect size/ we munch it warm right off the vine,/ sweet and sharp upon our tongues,/ we hold the taste of summertime.” In the fall, the girl rolls the boy in their wheelbarrow along with their glorious crop; at Thanksgiving, they sit at the table amid friends and family. They tackle the whole project with almost no adult help—parents appear occasionally in the periphery, but the focus is on the efforts and dedication of the two children. Strong verse and reassuring surroundings confer a sense of the cycle of life and time. Ages 3–7. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
“…poetic and evocative…”—School Library Journal

“From its handsome title-page introduction of fourteen vegetable-garden plants to the useful facts and tips arrayed on seed packets on its last page, this is an inspiring celebration of planning, growing, and enjoying the results of a community garden.”—Horn Book Magazine

“…[a] fresh celebration of gardening as food for both body and soul.”—Kirkus

“…a quiet yet engaging presentation that is sure to inspire gardening attempts by young readers. The generous size of the book and the illustrations also make this a good choice for small-group sharing.”—Booklist

“Christensen’s (The Princess of Borscht) sturdy, wood engraving–style illustrations show carrots, pumpkins, chard, and beans that look good enough to eat…”—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Planting a little seed, taking care to give it the things it needs like water and weeding, also takes a lot of patience—or as this lovely picture book says, a lot of waiting and dreaming as the seed takes its time to send down roots and send up sprouts and leaves; eventually the fruits and vegetables begin to show and grow. In autumn, all that dreaming and waiting ends up in a harvest of the garden's gifts. Some will be pickled, baked, frozen or dried but there will be plenty for a glorious autumn feast with family and friends. Christensen's simple lyrical text recounts the garden growing cycle. However, her wood cut illustrations contribute strongly to the magic of a garden. She follows two children, a blond girl and dark-skinned boy who begin by planting and end by using the seeds from last year's produce to plant a new garden the following spring. These two are shown doing the all-important job of waiting and dreaming. This is an excellent book for early childhood classrooms (Pre-k to 3rd) that are exploring plants or doing an inquiry around food, especially if they are looking at the farm to table cycle.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Beginning with perusing seed catalogues on a winter day, a boy and girl plan, plant, tend, harvest, and enjoy the bounty from a garden. While no new ground is broken, the book is a standout for two reasons. The language is poetic and evocative: "Our garden sings with buzzing bees,/with rustling leaves and cawing crows,/with gentle rain and whirring wings" and maintains an even, almost musical cadence throughout. The illustrations, with their dramatic black outlines and vivid colors, are a visual treat. There is a sense of magic in this garden as even the animals cavort happily when the first tiny sprouts appear. Although gardening books abound, this one is very much deserving of shelf space (where it will not remain for long!).—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In reverent lines punctuated with occasional and near rhyme, a girl narrates the cycle of working a community-garden plot over three productive seasons. She and her friend (a boy) plan, plant, tend and harvest fruits, veggies and flowers. Their moms help with autumn's lush bounty: "We gather in our garden's gifts / to pickle, bake, or freeze, or dry, / then cook a glorious autumn / feast--soups and salads, / cakes and pies." At the culminating meal, the two families give thanks "for seeds and soil, rain and sun / and all the springtimes yet to come," and the last double-page spread shows the friends sowing seeds anew. Christensen's pictures--rich, brushy reds, greens and golds contoured with thick, inky black line--convey visual affirmations of friendship, cooperation and patience through changing seasons. Basic biological facts about plants, arranged on seed packets scattered across a final page, are reinforced visually throughout. A yellow dog and a rabbit (followed by the inevitable bunny babies) make frequent appearances, and even a raccoon in the corn seems less a pest than part of an idyllic, ecological whole. Text and pictures align nicely in this fresh celebration of gardening as food for both body and soul. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596435506
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,179,508
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Christensen is the author and illustrator of the Schneider Family Book Award winner Django and Woodie Guthrie: Poet of the People, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and a New York Times Notable Book. Her illustrations also appear in the London Folio Society's edition of The Grapes of Wrath and over ten children's books, including Pompeii, Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne. Most recently, she illustrated The Princess of Borscht, written by Leda Schubert, for Roaring Brook Press. She lives in Wilson, North Carolina.

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