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seed needs review

A Seed Needs Sun

Though the process that turns a seed into a plant is one that takes place all the time, there is something rather miraculous about it. Seeing a little plant emerge from a seed can be quite awe-inspiring, particularly for young children.

In this lusciously illustrated board book we see what happens after a seed lands on the ground. On the first spread a beautiful scrub jay eyes a little seed on the ground, which is lucky enough to be in a shallow hole, one of the first things it needs to begin its journey.

Next, in a cross-section image, we see that the little seed is underground in the earth and it has grown little roots. It needs water now and we see that there are little drips of moisture on a nearby plant, so we know it has rained recently. A snail slowly slithers past, and worms are tunneling away through the earth nearby.

In the third spread we see how a mole gives the little seedling a little help by turning the soil so that the seedling’s roots get the room they need to grow.

What makes this book special is that it not only tells the story of a seed and shows us what a seed needs to grow, but we also see the other plants and animals that live in the seed’s ecosystem. We see worms, snails and other animals come and go as the seasons go by.

With just a few words and incredibly detailed illustrations on every spread, this is a book that captures some of the wonder that exists in nature.

Though the process that turns a seed into a plant is one that takes place all the time, there is something rather miraculous about it. Seeing a little plant emerge …

A SEED NEEDS SUN

by Kate Riggs ; illustrated by Fiammetta Dogi ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2014

A seed grows into a flower as a variety of animals visit.

The gentle text traces the plant’s life cycle: “A seed needs a hole. // Dirt needs water. // Roots need room.” The text advances spread by double-page spread until the final one reveals the yellow flower in full bloom: “A seed needs sun / to become a flower.” A cross-section snapshot of each stage of development in superbly detailed art charts the flower’s growth. A blue jay, a snail, a mole, a dragonfly, a toad, a couple of butterflies and a mouse visit the budding plant in turn. Frustratingly, none of the flora and fauna is identified, but Dogi’s images are lovely and lush and will undoubtedly pique the curiosity of budding botanists.

Natural history made graceful. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56846-254-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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More by Kate Riggs

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles.

New York Times Bestseller

YOU MATTER

by Christian Robinson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2020

Employing a cast of diverse children reminiscent of that depicted in Another (2019), Robinson shows that every living entity has value.

After opening endpapers that depict an aerial view of a busy playground, the perspective shifts to a black child, ponytails tied with beaded elastics, peering into a microscope. So begins an exercise in perspective. From those bits of green life under the lens readers move to “Those who swim with the tide / and those who don’t.” They observe a “pest”—a mosquito biting a dinosaur, a “really gassy” planet, and a dog whose walker—a child in a pink hijab—has lost hold of the leash. Periodically, the examples are validated with the titular refrain. Textured paint strokes and collage elements contrast with uncluttered backgrounds that move from white to black to white. The black pages in the middle portion foreground scenes in space, including a black astronaut viewing Earth; the astronaut is holding an image of another black youngster who appears on the next spread flying a toy rocket and looking lonely. There are many such visual connections, creating emotional interest and invitations for conversation. The story’s conclusion spins full circle, repeating opening sentences with new scenarios. From the microscopic to the cosmic, word and image illuminate the message without a whiff of didacticism.

Whimsy, intelligence, and a subtle narrative thread make this rise to the top of a growing list of self-love titles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2169-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

A seed grows into a flower as a variety of animals visit.