Pine cones. Acorns. Dandelion fuzz. Sunflower seeds. Children are delighted by these natural treasures. But what will become of these little nuggets of life?
Ward and Ghahremani follow up their book What Will Hatch? (2013) with this second rhyming and riddling book on seeds. Hand-lettered descriptions provide bare clues: “Shiny, brown. Bumpy crown. / What will grow?” Gouache-on-wood illustrations in an earthy palette on double-page spreads provide visual hints. In the case of the preceding clue, squirrels hold large, brown acorns underneath the riddle on the verso. The answer page on the recto shows more squirrels skittering around a labeled oak tree with its distinctive leaves. Some of the riddles are intentionally vague, demanding that readers examine the pictures. Four of the answer pages are pull-out gatefolds that provide extra surprises. The page with the tall sunflowers opens up, while the page with the orange carrots growing below ground opens down. (Due to this unpredictable opening scheme, adult assistance may be required to reduce damage to the pages.) Yet beyond the riddles, there is a consistency in the content, the muted colors, even the satisfyingly thick recycled paper on which it is printed that reinforces the philosophy of this nature book. Endnotes provide details on the 13 seeds and their sowing times as well as the life cycle from seed to plant.
Rich with organic material, this choice is as warm and patient as the ground that nurtures the seeds to new life. (Informational picture book. 2-5)