From tiny seed to a huge, fold-out bloom, the transformative life cycle of a sunflower plays out in this bold read-aloud by Sibert honoree Antoinette Portis.
To understand how a seed becomes a sunflower, you have to peek beneath the soil and wait patiently as winding roots grow, a stalk inches out of the earth, and new seeds emerge among blooming petals.
"A seed falls,
And settles into the ground,
And the Sun shines,
And the rain comes down,
And the seed grows…"
Leading up to a striking fold-out spread of a full-grown sunflower, the lively, bold illustrations in A Seed Grows offer a close-up view of each step of the growth cycle.
Additional material in the back of the book explains the science of plant life cycles, and goes into more detail on the ways in which flowers and seeds depend on other creatures.
Antoinette Portis is the author of A New Green Day, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and NCTE Notable Book in Poetry, as well as the Sibert Honor winning Hey, Water!
A CALIBA Golden Poppy Award Finalist
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Employing spare language and sunny, stippled multimedia spreads that belie their quiet complexity, Portis gracefully traces a sunflower's cycle from seed to sprout to plant and back again. On each page, a term on the verso corresponds in hue with an image on the recto, focusing the reader's attention on a single visual component. The word seed, for example, written in black, attends the arrival of a striped black sunflower shell at right ("A seed falls"). A page turn later, a brown-hued soil faces its referent, in which the seed nestles. And the font size of a bright green grows enlarges over several spreads as the seedling does the same. But the pages offer much more than an experiential play-by-play for youngest readers. In addition to incorporating mention of the seedling's early needs (soil, sun, rain) and maturation phases (bud, flower, seed), text and image hint at the plant's external effects (for those who "nest in the leaves// in the tops of trees") and, poignantly, its place as participant in the natural world. It's a volume almost as jam-packed as a seed itself. Contextualizing back matter concludes. Ages 3 6.