Review by Booklist Review
Grub the raccoon meets Seed the seed one night while rooting through a garbage can. Seed is waiting for someone to plant him. On the hopeful chance that Seed will grow into a hamburger plant, Grub plants Seed immediately, and then they wait. Grub keeps Seed faithful company from moonrise to moonset until Seed finally blooms. It's not what they had expected, and not even what they hoped, but flowers are special, too. Maybe even as special as a cheeseburger. This is a sweet tale of slow-blossoming friendship and unconditional acceptance, of celebrating differences and being gentle with others. The story and its quirky characters are highly original and use excellent dialogue, positioned on the page with thoughtful and theatrical placement. The use of color in a mostly nocturnal book is particularly skillful, culminating in a glorious rose-colored sunrise, and the illustrations present delightful layers of imaginative, whimsical joy--from the most adorable Seed-bottom to a raccoon playing the banjo and dreaming of donut bushes and pizza blossoms.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
While foraging in a garbage can, a raccoon named Grub meets glowing green Seed, who has bright black eyes and a knowing smile. Seed, who is hoping to get planted, isn't in a hurry to dissuade Grub of the notion that Seed could eventually grow into his favorite food, a "very good and very special" cheeseburger. But what starts as a relationship of mutual expediency deepens as Grub keeps watch on the patch of ground where Seed is nestled. Arnaldo's (Time for Bed's Story) witty mixed-media drawings keep readers slightly off-balance--in a good way--through their mix of real and fanciful elements and varying compositional tactics as the two exchange stories and deepen their bond: "Grub told Seed about the top three cheeseburgers he had ever eaten.... Seed told Grub about all the interesting things he saw down in the earth." When Seed pops through the ground and blossoms into a flower, Grub's face is the very picture of thwarted expectations--until he realizes how much the friendship means to him. There's a lot of profundity within these whimsical pages--about growing up, overcoming disappointment through acceptance, and valuing relationships over personal needs--which should plant some hearty seeds of conversation for readers of all ages. Ages 4--8. Agent: Alexandra Levick, Writers House. (June)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-K--Refreshingly novel for its unexpected duo of characters, Arnaldo's digitally illustrated story about a budding friendship between a raccoon and a plant seed will amuse young listeners. Grub the raccoon roots through a trash can for his dinner, only to find a curious, green Seed asking to be planted in the ground. With the fervent hope that Seed will become a cheeseburger plant, Grub cares for him as he sprouts. Grub has never had cheeseburgers before, deeming them "very good and very special," a handy but subtle metaphor that ultimately reflects the idea of friendship and often pops into the duo's simple, sometimes silly, conversations. Interpreting such an unembellished message in the story amid the action and creative visuals may require discussion to help reveal how the time Grub and Seed spend growing a special friendship, rather than cheeseburgers, holds the greater value. Arnaldo makes productive use of negative space and crafts different perspectives panel by panel to set the pace of the text and animate her characters; however, insights into Grub and Seed's emotions are limited, with exception to the conclusive revelation. VERDICT A delightfully quirky tale about an uncommon pairing of characters that offers light humor and guileless dialogue as they learn to treasure their blossoming friendship.--Rachel Mulligan, Westampton, NJ
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Grub the raccoon just can't wait for Seed the seed to grow into a cheeseburger plant. Grub loves cheeseburgers, although his real-life cheeseburger experience is limited. When Grub finds Seed in the garbage, he plants him in the hopes of growing a cheeseburger plant. Seed isn't exactly sure what he's going to grow into, but he wants to make his new friend happy. When he finally blooms, he's not quite what Grub had been hoping for. This utterly charming book is full of humor in both the text and the adorable illustrations. Grub's expressive face is delightful, whether he's disappointed, deep in contemplation, or giving a hard side-eye. The primary moral of the story is that we should accept our friends for who they are, not try to change them. But the author also incorporates some more subtle and sophisticated lessons. Seed's calm, cheerful attitude toward his unknown future models an open-minded acceptance of change. Grub's initial disappointment and ensuing loving acceptance feel emotionally authentic and sweet without being saccharine, highlighted by the affecting double-page illustrations. Both characters experience growth and discovery in their identities, demonstrating that it's OK to not know exactly what the future holds for you. Don't mistake these messages for preachiness, though. It is enjoyable purely as a funny and touching story about a raccoon and a seed who are friends. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Silly and heartwarming in equal measure. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.