What happens when a kiss is planted? Readers will be captivated as a young girl’s seemingly silly act literally blossoms into a generous reward.
Rosenthal (This Plus That, illustrated by Jen Corace, 2011) strips away all but the most essential words to share her story. Spare short phrases and one-word descriptors propel the action while leaving plenty of room for Reynolds, illustrating in a similar style found in The Dot (2003), to work his visual magic in a pale palette of mostly yellow, pink and gray. After providing sun, water and attention, the spunky heroine has moments of doubt. Her patience pays off when a sparkly object emerges from the soil. “Sprout! / SHOUT! SHOUT! // Gather about. // Wow! How? What now? / Stare and stare. // ‘I’ll share!’ she declared.” The other children who come by strongly disagree: “Don’t you dare! It’s far too rare! It’ll go bare!” But “(She didn’t care.)” She collects a large amount of the sparkly stuff in her big red bowl and distributes it far and wide. When it is all gone, “she returned. There she learned…from one little kiss… // endless bliss!” Here Reynolds uses a golden wash with pink and iridescent dots to paint a most vigorous blooming swirly plant that spans the entirety of the final double-page spread.
Sure to dazzle children, who will appreciate that a relatively small deed can lead to such magical results. (Picture book. 3-6)