STARRED REVIEW
March 03, 2015

Harvesting kindness

By Kadir Nelson

Everyone knows the possibilities of planting a garden, but in this story with a clever twist, a rabbit and mouse learn the real benefits of planting seeds. As the sun rises, the big-eyed, cute-as-a-button rabbit and mouse plant a tomato seed, a carrot seed and a cabbage seed. As the days pass with rain and shine, they tend to their seeds with love and care until they reap the rewards of juicy and crunchy vegetables.

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Everyone knows the possibilities of planting a garden, but in this story with a clever twist, a rabbit and mouse learn the real benefits of planting seeds. As the sun rises, the big-eyed, cute-as-a-button rabbit and mouse plant a tomato seed, a carrot seed and a cabbage seed. As the days pass with rain and shine, they tend to their seeds with love and care until they reap the rewards of juicy and crunchy vegetables.

As the rabbit and mouse become gluttonous with their haul, a flock of birds arrive. In true picture-book fashion, Kadir Nelson’s lush, colorful oil paintings tell the real story. While the birds look on in hunger, even looking readers straight on in a dramatic, wordless double-page spread, the rabbit and mouse refuse to share. In the process, they plant a new seed in their garden—a seed of selfishness. That seed grows and grows as well—“into a heap of trouble.”

As the animals, fatigued from a food fight and covered in tomato splatter, notice the disaster they’ve created, the mouse discovers yet one more seed to plant—a seed of kindness. After seeing how the birds can help spread seeds by flying above, the rabbit and mouse join them in tending the garden once again. This time the rewards are sweet in more ways than one as all the forest animals partake in the bounty. Even very young children will identify the warmth and humor that’s ripe for sharing in small and large groups.

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If You Plant a Seed

If You Plant a Seed

By Kadir Nelson
Balzer + Bray
ISBN 9780062298898

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