Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A PACKET OF SEEDS by Deborah Hopkinson Kirkus Star


by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Bethanne Andersen

Age Range: 5 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-009089-8
Publisher: Greenwillow

Hopkinson and Andersen team up again in this understated, quiet story of pioneers, the prairie, and the healing power of gardening. Pa feels that “folks around here are getting close as kernels on a cob” and Momma has no choice but to go west with him. Annie and her little brother Jim watch Momma tearfully say goodbye to her sister and friends and set out to their plot of land. Though Pa builds a rough but cozy cabin, it is not enough to turn away the sounds of coyotes and the cold of the winter nights. When Momma delivers her second daughter, she is unable to raise herself from her bed. It is Anna, armed with an ax and a fierce desire to build a kitchen garden, who finally gives Momma a reason to shake out of her sadness. Andersen’s gouache and oil illustrations tell the story in rose sunsets, lavender mountains, and a prairie that nearly engulfs the little wagon as it makes its way west. Three hopeful bluebirds dot the spring sky as the little family joins together to face their new life. Lovely. (author’s note) (Fiction. 5-12)