What’s common among a seed, an egg, a tadpole, a caterpillar, goslings, and you? Each contains the idea of a mature being and the potential all living things possess.
A young, brown-skinned girl holds an apple, and readers are told that hidden inside “is the idea of a tree / wrapped tight / in [a] shiny seed.” The little girl bites into the apple, dropping a seed that could “take root / sprout / shoot up / into the blue.” The story then shows how other living things begin and grow before it shifts back to the little girl. While this middle section reflects similarities between human development and animal growth, phrases such as the “lapping lake” and “over lake and field / through clouds and miles / and days and nights” feel overdone. Additionally, near the story’s end, the celebration of a metaphorical orchard field “with creatures singing, springing, fluttering, winging— / and people laughing, lounging, munching, swinging” also reads as sappy. Primarily a story encouraging children to cultivate their remarkable selves, the book also teaches that “work and [a] long, loooooooong wait” are necessary to grow an idea. Opaque, spring-bright colors in the watercolor, pencil, and gouache illustrations extend to the page’s edge, eliciting the feel of being in the scene, and complement the text’s suggested importance of a human connection with nature.
A saccharine bedtime read-aloud about big ideas and the promise in everyone. (Picture book. 3-6)