If you plant a seed

Kadir Nelson

Book - 2015

While planting seeds in their garden, two animals learn the value of kindness.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8.
ISBN
9780062298898
0062298895
Main Author
Kadir Nelson (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A big-eyed bunny and his mouse friend plant a tiny garden, caring for their seeds, rain or shine, until they can enjoy their cabbage, carrot, and tomatoes. When a group of hungry birds shows up, the mouse and rabbit are unwilling to share, and their "seed of selfishness" grows into a "heap of trouble." The tide turns when the little mouse finds an unblemished tomato and offers it to the avians. The birds return with sacks full of seeds, and the book ends with all manner of animals enjoying the fruits of an enormous garden. Nelson's sumptuous paintings are both naturalistic and expressive. The rich colors, low point of view, and realistic animal faces bring the reader right into the picture—the lifelike plants are scrumptious enough to eat, and the sunny scenes glow with warmth. Though some may balk at the didactic lesson, this fable-like story with charming critters enacting a conflict that will likely be familiar to Nelson's intended audience is so gorgeously illustrated that it's a pleasure to read. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In a skillfully crafted story about the literal and allegorical fruits of the seeds we plant, Nelson (Baby Bear) introduces a group of animals whose farmyard garden becomes a source of food, strife, and reconciliation. Nelson's emphatic sentences stretch across multiple pages, underscoring the patience necessary to see seeds mature into plants: "If you plant a tomato seed,/ a carrot seed,/ and a cabbage seed,/ in time/ with love and care,/ tomato,/ carrot,/ and cabbage/ plants will grow." A small brown rabbit and an even smaller brown mouse, painted in warm realistic detail, are the devoted farmers here, and a wordless scene shows them taking their delighted first bites of produce that gleams in the midday sun. Joy shifts to alarm when five birds descend, their silent intentions very clear. A food fight, the result of a "seed of selfishness," leaves the garden in ruins, but a final sequence about the rewards of planting a "seed of kindness" culminates in an abundance of sunflowers, chard, melons, and more. Nelson adeptly balances whimsical, naturalistic, and instructional ideas to create a story that satisfies on multiple levels. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

In a skillfully crafted story about the literal and allegorical fruits of the seeds we plant, Nelson (Baby Bear) introduces a group of animals whose farmyard garden becomes a source of food, strife, and reconciliation. Nelson's emphatic sentences stretch across multiple pages, underscoring the patience necessary to see seeds mature into plants: "If you plant a tomato seed,/ a carrot seed,/ and a cabbage seed,/ in time/ with love and care,/ tomato,/ carrot,/ and cabbage/ plants will grow." A small brown rabbit and an even smaller brown mouse, painted in warm realistic detail, are the devoted farmers here, and a wordless scene shows them taking their delighted first bites of produce that gleams in the midday sun. Joy shifts to alarm when five birds descend, their silent intentions very clear. A food fight, the result of a "seed of selfishness," leaves the garden in ruins, but a final sequence about the rewards of planting a "seed of kindness" culminates in an abundance of sunflowers, chard, melons, and more. Nelson adeptly balances whimsical, naturalistic, and instructional ideas to create a story that satisfies on multiple levels. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A fuzzy, brown rabbit and a tiny notch-eared mouse plant tomato, carrot, and cabbage seeds and then wait for the plants to grow and produce. As they bide their time, the two sit in the rain, nap, and read books. Readers will notice the sky beginning to fill with birds, which the rabbit and mouse don't see until the fruits—or vegetables—of their labor are ready to eat. Then five winged creatures descend and look expectantly, in a priceless illustration, at the two farmers that try to protect their bounty from the intruders. A verbal argument and scuffle ensue until they all reach an understanding. After the seed of cooperation is planted among the seven characters, peace reigns and friendship grows. Nelson's charmingly realistic illustrations skillfully show the passage of time and humorously accurate emotions and body language. The textures shown in the fur and feathers and the small details in the large oil on canvas paintings create images for study (and framing). The message, so clearly read in the illustrations, is a universal truth—you reap what you sow and when shared with others, your joy will be magnified. VERDICT A timeless and delectable picture book choice.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI [Page 131]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An acclaimed, award-winning author/illustrator presents a resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity as two little animals learn the value of kindness while planting seeds in their garden. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

While planting seeds in their garden, two animals learn the value of kindness.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The bestselling book about the power of one kind act from Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner Kadir Nelson.“Timeless and delectable.”—School Library JournalIf you plant a carrot seed . . . a carrot will grow.If you plant a cabbage seed . . . cabbage will grow.But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness . . . or selfishness?With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.Kadir Nelson's acclaimed books include The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished picture book of the year, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The bestselling book about the power of one kind act from Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner Kadir Nelson.'timeless and delectable.''School Library JournalIf you plant a carrot seed . . . a carrot will grow.If you plant a cabbage seed . . . cabbage will grow.But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness . . . or selfishness?With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.Kadir Nelson's acclaimed books include The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished picture book of the year, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.