Some children’s books have beautiful illustrations, others have a stellar text, and still others carry a message. Kadir Nelson’s book, If you Plant a Seed, has all three plus unique other qualities that make it special. Written for children ages four to eight in preschool to third grade, it is also very appealing to the adults that no doubt will read it.
The text is very simple but meaningful and is shown through the actions of a soft brown rabbit and lively mouse who plant tomato, carrot, and cabbage seeds and enjoy the fruits of their labor. When seeds of selfishness are sown, however, trouble ensues, while when seed of kindness are sown the fruits of kindness are enjoyed. The illustrations featuring animals filled with expression add depth to the words rather than just illustrate them. Some two page spreads, in fact, have no words but carry out nuances of meaning and give children a chance to add words and ideas of their own. A timeless message but one that is worth repeating over and over again and beautifully done in this book.
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