Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: A Seed is the Start

Title: A Seed is the Start
Author: Melissa Stewart
Publisher: National Geographic
Pages: 32
Availability: On shelves now
Review copy: Final copy via publisher

Beautiful photography and lyrical text pair with comprehensive picture captions in award-winning author Melissa Stewart's story about the surprisingly diverse world of seeds. Learn all about the plant cycle, from how seeds grow, the fascinating ways they travel, and what it takes for a seed to become a plant.

Meet seeds that pop, hop, creep, and explode in this vividly illustrated introduction to the simplest concepts of botany. The story, which is perfect for elementary school Common Core learning, carefully highlights the many ways that seeds get from here to there, engaging children's curiosity with strong action verbs. Stunning photographs with fact-packed captions provide supporting details, explaining the role of seed features and functions in creating new generations of plants. Complete with an illustrated glossary and back matter featuring more resources, this book inspires wonder as it encourages budding botanists of all ages to look with new eyes at plants and their seeds.

Review: There is so much to love about this book from the text, to the pictures and to the way it is put together. The information presented is very interesting and kept my attention all the way through. I wasn't particularly interested in learning more about seeds when I began, but I quickly became curious to learn more.

The first page introduces vocabulary that will be used throughout the text. I appreciated this as glossaries are usually at the end and not all readers will flip back and forth when they need to know something. Front loading seemed to get around that issue. In addition, the pictures are so vibrant and bring everything up close.

The words themselves are helpful and intriguing, but they are also in a variety of sizes and are not always straight across the page. The text features make the words seem to sing. This doesn't detract from the information, but rather pulls the reader along as they learn about the many ways seeds move.
My favorite picture is the hamburger bean vine. As you might guess, the seed looks like a mini hamburger.

Recommendation: This is a fabulous look into the world of seeds that will have readers excited to learn. I look forward to using this with students and sharing it with our district garden coordinator. If you are looking for books to teach or explore the basics of seeds, this is one you will definitely want to purchase. If you are looking to expand your nonfiction collection in any way, this is also a great addition. It's everything a nonfiction picture book should be. Melissa Stewart is a master.

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