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The Trellis and the Seed

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The little seed spent the winter in a jelly glass on the top shelf of a chinacupboard. It was only a seed and very, very small. How could it ever be a vine with sweet-smelling blossoms? When spring came, the Nice Lady made a hole for the seed and planted it in her garden at the base of a trellis. It felt soft in the hole, but also cold and dark. Don't worry, said the Earth. God has planned something beautiful for you. The little seed did not believe it. But as time passed, and the sun shone, and the rain fell, ...

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0142403172 HARDCOVER. In a Good jacket, clean and unmarked.

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Overview

The little seed spent the winter in a jelly glass on the top shelf of a chinacupboard. It was only a seed and very, very small. How could it ever be a vine with sweet-smelling blossoms? When spring came, the Nice Lady made a hole for the seed and planted it in her garden at the base of a trellis. It felt soft in the hole, but also cold and dark. Don't worry, said the Earth. God has planned something beautiful for you. The little seed did not believe it. But as time passed, and the sun shone, and the rain fell, the little seed began to feel something unexpected. . . .

A small seed surprises itself by becoming a flowering moonflower vine.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Given a small nameless seed, a gardener stores it until spring. Then, she plants the tiny seed in the cold earth and gives it its own tall trellis to climb. The seed does not know what to expect, but soon feels a "tickle" and a "kiss" as it develops tiny roots and shoots. It grows and grows, stopping short of the top of the trellis when it feels it can grow no longer. The gardener supplies fertilizer to give the vine an extra boost, and sure enough it climbs to the top of the trellis—and beyond. All of the other bushes, flowers, and trees in the garden burst into beautiful bloom. But the healthy vine seems only to sprout tendrils and leaves. One night under the beams of a full moon, feelings of a "tickle" and a "kiss" return. Rushing to the garden in her nightgown and bare feet, the gardener sees the delicate white blossoms of the night-blooming moonflower. Not only is the vine more beautiful than ever, but it also fills the air with a delicious scent. Now both the gardener and the grown vine realize the plant's true nature which they brought to fruition together. Subtitled A Book of Encouragement for All Ages, this book is 32 pages long on high quality paper with soft illustrations that evoke a mood of mystery and meditation. Many readers will recognize Jan Karon's name from her popular "Mitford Years" series. 2003, Viking, Ages 7 up.
— Chris Gill
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this heavy-handed story, a tiny seed faces what seem like insurmountable odds, but slowly grows and eventually reaches its full potential. Although the Nice Lady talks to it of what it will become, it does not believe it will ever be anything but small. Planted in front of a huge trellis that seemed "a million trillion feet high," it can't imagine ever climbing that high. Still, with the help of the rain and a little time, the plant makes it most of the way up before it wearies. Then the Nice Lady comes out, hums a little tune, and applies "something smelly around the roots," and the vine finally makes it to the top of the trellis and produces white flowers that bloom in the moonlight. This sentimental tale will appeal to those who like their allegories neat and straight up. Featuring colorful, flower-bedecked depictions of a country cottage, Steele's static watercolors monotonously reflect the story's action. Watty Piper's straightforward The Little Engine That Could (Platt & Munk, 1930) conveys the same message without the precious language and has a lot more child appeal.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142403174
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/5/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.67 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Karon

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Biography

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Janice Meredith Wilson
    2. Hometown:
      Blowing Rock, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lenoir, North Carolina

Read an Excerpt

The Trellis and the Seed

A BOOK OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR ALL AGES
By JAN KARON

VIKING

Copyright © 2003 Jan Karon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0670892890


Chapter One

The little seed felt warm in the Nice Lady's hand.

Someone had given it to her at the end of summer, because she had a garden and loved flowers.

"Here," they said, "this will make a beautiful vine with sweet-smelling blossoms."

The little seed, however, did not believe this. It was only a seed, and very, very small. How could it ever be a beautiful vine with blossoms?

The little seed spent the winter in a jelly glass on the top shelf of a china cupboard.

When spring came, the Nice Lady went out and bought a trellis for the seed.

A whole trellis for one tiny seed!

Then she took down the glass and ran a bit of water into it, so the seed could soak.

"This will make you soft and help you sprout faster," she said.

The Nice Lady went to her early spring garden and found just the right place for the trellis.

She put it deep into the ground by her brick wall. At the base, she made a tiny hole with her finger. Then she went inside and picked up the seed, which had grown soft from soaking.

She took it to the garden.

She put it in the hole.

She said, "Good-bye! See you this summer!"

Then she filled the small hole with dirt and patted it firmly with her hand.

Though being someplace soft felt nice for a change, it was dark in the hole. It was cold in the hole.

Don't worry, said the Earth. God has planned something beautiful for you. You will be a green vine with blossoms that scent the air with sweet perfume.

There it was again. That story about vines and blossoms! The little seed did not believe it.

Days passed. The sun shone and the rain fell.

And then there was a stir in the small, dark hole.

First something happened at the bottom of the little seed.

It felt like a tickle.

Then, something happened at the top of the little seed.

It felt like a kiss.

The rain fell. The sun shone. The days grew warm.

Soon there was no more seed. Instead, there was a small green sprout.

"Hello!" said the Nice Lady. "I knew you'd soon be up and about! Now, if you'll just climb this trellis, I shall be pleased as anything!"

Climb the trellis? How could a small sprout climb a trellis that was a million trillion feet high?

Just start, said the Earth. The job is half done when you've made a beginning.

For many days, thunder shook the heavens. Water stood in puddles in the garden. The little sprout thought it might drown.

And then the sun came out. It shone and shone.

While the sprout was scarcely paying attention, it became a vine.

The vine stretched out a green, curling tendril. It touched something that didn't feel soft like dirt or warm like sun.

For a moment, it was afraid of anything that felt so different, and tried to pull its tendril back. But it was stuck to the trellis.

There was only one thing to do. It began to climb.

It couldn't help climbing! It couldn't stop climbing!

It climbed to the right and climbed to the left.

It danced out into the air where there was no trellis at all.

Then one day, it couldn't climb any higher.

It tried and tried to reach the top of the trellis, but nothing worked.

Its glossy leaves drooped. Its tendrils lost their lively curl.

The Nice Lady came out and, humming a little tune, sprinkled something smelly around the roots of the vine. Then she worked it into the earth with her spade. "There!" she said to the vine. "That should be delicious!"

Soon afterward, a summer shower swept over the garden. And suddenly, the top of the trellis didn't seem so far away, after all.



Excerpted from The Trellis and the Seed by JAN KARON Copyright © 2003 by Jan Karon
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Great gift

    Bought as a gift for a dear firend who loves Jan Karon books. If like any of her other books it is wonderful and wholesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    Different is Wonderful

    I noticed this book only because it had a Westie on the cover, which is the type of dog we have. Little did I know what an impact this book would have on me. As I read this book, the parable really hit home because I have two daughters, one of whom challenges me at every turn. Through this book I now look at her in a different and much more positive way. She is my little moonflower, and that's ok! It is a very gentle book that has a very powerful message, especially for parents. Ironically, there's nothing about the dog in the book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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