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FLIP, FLOAT, FLY by JoAnn Early Macken


Seeds on the Move

by JoAnn Early Macken & illustrated by Pam Paparone

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2043-8
Publisher: Holiday House

An uninspired look at how seeds are spread by wind, water, animal and human agency. Paparone’s illustrations range from slavish attachment to the text (seeds and a tiny chopper accompanying a reference to maple seeds flying “like shiny green helicopters,” for instance) to generic winter landscapes in which locust-tree pods on the ground are barely visible, and basswood tree fruit not at all. Along with some awkward lines—“The wind lifts them up and off of the tree”—Macken oversimplifies the definition of “seed” to imply that plants cannot propagate any other way, and departs entirely from her topic on one spread to describe how fallen wild oat seeds work their way into the ground. In addition, not all of the plants depicted are identified, it’s difficult to distinguish the “touch-me-not” seedpods from the surrounding leaves and flower buds, and the seeds in the closing gallery are not shown to scale. Steer readers instead to clearer treatments, such as John Farndon’s Seeds (2006). (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)