cover image Rooting for You

Rooting for You

Susan Hood, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-5230-9

“I am NOT coming out!” says a tiny lime-green seed nestled deep within the warm brown earth. Because, really, who knows what awaits in the world above? But with the encouragement of an astute, bespectacled worm (“There are friends to feed you,/ friends to weed you,/ and friends indeed/ who really need you!”) and the visual propulsion provided by a series of sweetly comic gatefolds (including one that’s both horizontal and vertical), the seed overcomes the real and perceived obstacles in its path and triumphantly assumes its role as the garden equivalent of a BMOC. Hood’s (Spike, the Mixed-up Monster) writing occasionally slides into graduation speech territory (“Get going, get growing!/ Your whole life awaits!”), but between the worm’s cheerleading and Cordell’s (hello! hello!) cheery, minimalist cartoon evocation of the underground world, the seed’s journey feels like a real accomplishment. Of course, any relationship between the seed’s emergence and that of a human baby are strictly coincidental. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)