by Dianna Hutts Aston. Illustrated by Sylvia Long. (Chronicle, 2007. ISBN 9780811855204. Order Info.) Picture Book. 28 pages. Grades 2-8.
This is a gorgeous picture book from the same author/illustrator team that brought us An Egg Is Quiet (see below). We start with a beautiful opening page spread showing sunflower seeds nestled within the center of a ripe sunflower head. Beautiful illustrations show seeds next being secretive (lying dormant for a season or for years), fruitful (encased in blueberries and papayas), naked (in pine cones), in many sizes (from dust to 60 pounds), adventurous (scattered by the wind or floating in water), inventive (sticking to sneakers), generous (providing food for the new sprout), ancient, thirsty, hungry, clever (photosynthesis) and finally awake.
This is a wonderfully indulgent treatment of seeds and their differing qualities as well as the life cycle of plants. It's a great book to use for opening a unit on plants or gardening. It's also wonderful for sorting activities with it's accurate illustrations of many types of plants and seeds.
The patterned text which uses successive adjectives to describe different qualities or stages in the lives of seeds is great for language arts activities about adjectives and description. Use it to spring board an activity brainstorming similar adjectives to describe something else (food, animals, months, etc.) or to model a descriptive poem structure students can use to write a descriptive poem of their own.
This is also a great book for connecting the art and science curriculum with its beautiful paintings reminiscent of nature journals kept by many amateur and professional naturalists. Wonderful for honing observation skills for drawing or science endeavors.
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