A dandelion seed goes on a journey after being blown by a child’s wish in this delightful, simply worded, brightly colored concept book by Susskind (So You Think You Babysit Monsters?. 2013, etc.) and illustrated by Tadić.
On the opening two-page spread, the word “Wish!” commands a young girl to blow the dandelion she holds in front of her. With a “Whoosh” and “Wee” on the next spread, the journey of the dandelion seed begins. The computer-designed images, with the simple facial expressions on the dandelion seed hero, are in bold colors and incorporate the very few vocabulary words into the imagery well. Susskind chooses related, alliterative word pairs for each spread, and the combinations are often clever and occasionally truly delightful. The dandelion flies farther away from its original home, dancing in the air past farms and mountains, bumping into—and sleeping on—clouds. In the “drip / dry” pair, a poor, soaked seed is caught in a storm, but after the rain ends, it quickly spins dry. Finally, after tickling a baby and beckoning a dog to chase it, the seed falls to the ground, where it can “rest” and “root.” In a quick development, the seed plants itself and grows into a dandelion with a huge yellow tuft. But that golden crown doesn’t last, and soon the adult dandelion’s head is full of a brand new batch of seeds, just waiting for a child to come along and wish them onto their own journeys. The illustrations throughout are always cheerful; even when soaked, the seed looks like it’s having a tremendous amount of fun, and the happy expression it has when, as a growing dandelion, it’s chatting with a bee will make readers want to smile right along. The faces of the children are not quite as approachable as the cartoonish seed, and the background details are often rudimentary, but young readers may be satisfied with the basic, soft illustrations. It’s the words and word pairs here that inspire the most fun, however, and Susskind’s selections, sometimes obvious and other times surprising, will let newly independent readers gain confidence while experimenting with sounding out words on their own.
An approachable concept book for very early beginning readers with word pairs and illustrations sure to inspire grins—and maybe some wishes of their own.