A clean design featuring loads of white space surrounding bright spot illustrations makes this story of a little pea with big ambitions stand out.
Familiar storytelling elements, including a quest and a series of creatures met along the way, root the little pea's story in folklore. He is first shown in the pea plant along with his many fellow little peas; soon he strikes out on his own, attaching a peacock's feather to himself, painting on tiger stripes and fashioning a mini elephant's trunk out of a blade of grass. When he returns, the other peas laugh and tease, and he goes off again, this time with a greater degree of self-knowledge: " 'I am a funny seed,' he said to himself. 'But I am a seed in any case!' " He plants his adorned self in the ground, and a year later a veritable rainbow coalition of little peas sprouts from the plant he becomes. There are pink ones, blue, yellow, striped and plenty with little trunks, but no plain green ones. While the message that differences should be embraced is a bit obvious, the brief text and appropriately small, colorful illustrations keep things light.Young children often have outsized ambitions; here is a tale of one little one who literally roots his dreams in the ground, with a beautiful result. (Picture book. 3-6)