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New Readergirlz Issue

A Seed is Sleepy: Dianna Hutts Aston

Book: A Seed is Sleepy
Author: Dianna Hutts Aston (Author), Sylvia Long (Illustrator)
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8

A Seed is Sleepy is the sequel to the acclaimed, Cybils-award-winning An Egg is Quiet. Written by Dianna Hutts Aston, and illustrated by Sylvia Long, this lovingly-illustrated non-fiction picture book is all about seeds. From the mundane (rice and sunflower seeds) to the exotic (black palm and orchid) to the ridiculous (hamburger bean and earpod), Aston and Long bring them to life.

As with the previous book, a frontispiece shows numerous examples of seeds, with the plants they came from rendered at the end of the book. Within the text, we learn that seeds start out sleepy, and are sometimes secretive, fruitful, and/or adventurous, and sometimes even naked(!). In the authors' now trademark style, colorful ink and watercolor illustrations are paired with concise, easy to digest facts. In addition to scientific information about how seeds distribute and nourish themselves, and grow into plants, the book includes interesting, less-known facts. For example:

"The oldest known seed to sprout came from an extinct date palm tree. After it was unearthed from a long-ago king's mountaintop palace in Israel, a scientist planted it. Four weeks later, it sprouted!"

How cool is that? Also:

"A parachute of fine, silky hairs can take a dandelion seed 100 miles from its parent plant."

100 miles! Who knew? I won't forget that one any time soon.

What else can I say, that hasn't already been said about this book? The illustrations are wonderfully detailed, dancing across each page, a riot of colors and textures. The facts are engaging, detailed without being the least bit dull, and easily accessible for elementary school readers. Highly recommended for children and adults.

Publisher: Chronicle Books
Original Publication Date: February 2007
Source of Book: A review copy from the publisher
Other Blog Reviews: Book Buds, A Wrung Sponge, The Excelsior File, A Year of Reading, Love2Learn Blog. See also an interview of the author and illustrator at cynsations.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.