Written for children in grades 1 and 2, Camilla de la Bedoyere’s book From Seed to Sunflower describes the life cycle of the sunflower plant from seed to flowering plant that produces seeds. The book is non fiction so has no story line but instead gives factual information about the various stages in the life cycle of the plant. The author begins by explaining the parts of a typical plant such as a sunflower: roots, stems, leaves, and procedes by describing the need of plants for air, sunlight, and water. The following pages explain that the seed holds the beginnings of a new plant plus food for growth and extends the less on to the avocado seed. The author explains the conditions for seed germination and discuses the way the shoot pushes through the soil, begins to grow, uses sunlight to make food from air and water, produces flowers that attracts bees and butterflies that carry out fertilization leading to the development of seeds. Birds and small animals spread the seeds and the cycle starts anew.
The text is accompanied by bright colored photographs rather than drawn pictures which adds a strong sense of reality to the narrative. Especially appealing are the photographs of the opening flower bud and a bee covered with pollen as she visits a flower. The photographs are labeled and well integrated into the text. Different sized fonts give emphasis to certain parts of the text and words in boldface such as nectar, germination, carpels, are defined in a glossary at the end of the book. An index facilitates finding similar topics quickly, and notes for parents and teachers extend the ideas and concepts presented. A stellar presentation of a simple but important concept.
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