Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dynamic art redeems a modest text in this cheerful debut from a British author/illustrator. The tale revolves around a seed that lands in a springtime garden, where it is observed first by a bird, then by a girl. The girl plants the seed and watches as it sprouts a sunflower, tends the flower during the summer and, with her classmates, preserves its seeds for the following spring. Mockford's attempt to streamline the story creates a few gaps (e.g., the sunflower appears in a sudden burst of glory, with no prior mention of even a bud), but the irresistibly bright acrylics more than compensate. The perspectives and line are childlike but sophisticated, and the colors combine in novel and arresting ways. The opening page, for example, features a fuchsia and orange sky, a citrus yellow-green sward of grass, a vivid pink tree trunk plus a sweep of brown earth in the foreground--all of it toned down with spacklings of white paint. The composition, like the book itself, captures the bubbly mood of spring. Ages 2-5. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
A little boy playing with his toy cars imagines he is a real stock car driver. The story follows him on race day, and authentically portrays the various steps he and his crew must go through as they prepare themselves and the car for the big race. Readers then follows him around the track during the race. Boldly drawn and colored illustrations portray the excitement of the race and the various components of a racecar. While a wreck is portrayed, the real dangers of racing are downplayed. The little boy "wins" the race and celebrates for real with a milkshake. 2000, Henry Holt and Co, Ages 4 to 6, $15.95. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
In this story of the rhythms of life, a little girl and a bird find a seed. They plant it in the spring wondering what it will be. The girl, her cat and the bird anxiously watch as the seed grows into a beautiful sunflower. They pay homage to it until it hangs low with seeds. In the fall the little girl takes the seedhead to her classroom where her teacher shakes the seeds loose and stores them. In the spring, the children in her class plant those seeds and begin the cycle again. The boldly colored paintings in a primary style add charm to this tale of "everything that goes around, comes around" which young children adore. There's a page at the end defining some terms about growing plants.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Childlike illustrations, done in richly colored acrylics with thick black lines to outline characters, are the best feature in this sweet but slightly overwritten story. In early spring, a bird, a little girl, and a cat find a seed, plant it, and watch it grow. As the months pass and the sunflower grows and blooms, the little girl cares for it, visits it, and even tells it "all of her secrets." When fall comes, the girl carries the huge blossom to school to share the seeds with her classmates, who start growing them during the winter. The next summer, "every child had a beautiful, smiling sunflower!" The tired plot is reminiscent of other, better stories, such as Eve Bunting's Sunflower House (Harcourt, 1996) and Miela Ford's Sunflower (Greenwillow, 1995). A last page includes information on roots, shoots, flowers, seeds, and growing sunflowers.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.