The Seedling That Didn’t Want to Grow

Britta Teckentrup. Prestel Junior, $14.95 (40p) ISBN 978-3-7913-7429-1
In Teckentrup’s (My Little Book of Big Questions) story about a single plant, collage-style spreads show a field of seedlings springing up in a sunlit spring meadow. Two animal characters, Ant and Ladybird, notice that one seed hasn’t sprouted: “Let’s just sit next to her and wait. Maybe she needs more time,” they decide. Under Ant and Ladybird’s thoughtful supervision, the plant sprouts, grows, and starts to creep through the undergrowth, dense and vine-like as it searches for sun, joined by “the animals of the meadow.” Some of the plant forms are simple and graphic, but as the growing seedling reaches the light, she blossoms in a baroque flush of delicate blue flowers, visited by birds, butterflies, and insects before fading to an autumnal gold, scattering seeds “far and wide,” and drying in a gentle representation of death. The animals, gathered on one side of the page, tell their friend goodbye. But when winter is over, seeds spring anew, and the cycle starts again. Without sentimentality or special effects, Teckentrup makes readers feel nature’s significance by zeroing in on a very small corner of it. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/24/2020
Genre: Children's
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