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ANNO'S MAGIC SEEDS by Mitsumasa Anno


by Mitsumasa Anno & illustrated by Mitsumasa Anno

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1995
ISBN: 0-399-22538-2
Publisher: Philomel

 A wizard gives young Jack (no doubt kin of the beanstalk Jack) two golden seeds; one feeds him for a year and the other he plants. From the subsequent plant springs two flowers, thus two fruit, thus two seeds; one feeds him for a year and the other he plants. After a few years of this Jack determines that by short-term sacrifice- -finding food elsewhere for a year and planting both seeds--he can realize a nearly instant return on his investment. By the second year he can eat one seed and plant three; the crop thereby makes exponential increases each year, allowing Jack the means to marry, start a little family, do a little business. A hurricane temporarily wipes him out, but the ten seeds he's set by ensure a bright future. Children old enough to enjoy brainteasers will have fun working this out, but others can count the number of seeds in each picture to understand how Jack's thrift pays off. As usual, Anno's afterword limits rather than expands on the book's many facets, which incorporate concepts in math, economics, the environment, and more. For this latest planting, the author does not break new ground, but it is no less exceptional than his past harvests. (Picture book. 3-7)