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Let’s explore another of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Although it may seem like a weird to be thinking of seeds and seedlings, in Arizona we plant our fall gardens this month. For that reason, A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart is timely.

Although the word "start" in the title and the pictures of sunflowers germinating on the cover suggests this books is about plant life cycles, with exception of a corn kernel germinating on pages 4-5 and an apple seed growing on pages 30-31, this book is about much more. In fact it is mainly about seed dispersal. Whether it is by wind, water, or animal taxi, author Melissa Stewart reveals the many, many ways seeds get around.

The color photographs are high-quality, as you would expect from National Geographic. From flying dandelion seeds to floating cottonwood seeds, the photographs will attract the reader's attention.

A Seed is the Start is a lovely introduction to seeds and seed dispersal. Use it to sprout an interest in plants in a young reader today.

Activity Suggestions To Celebrate the Book:

1. Germinate a pumpkin seed.

Do you have some pumpkin seeds left over from Halloween or from Thanksgiving pies?

They can make an educational germination project.

Gather:
1. Pumpkin seeds (unsalted, raw)
2. Small containers - *see note
3. Potting soil

*Note:  Seeds may be started in almost any recycled container. Old milk cartons, newspaper pots, even empty egg shells can serve as containers. Put an opening in the bottom of the container for drainage and set it in a tray, and/or add some gravel or pebbles to cover the bottom.

Fill the containers with soil. Press one or two seed into the soil so covered slightly. Water until moist and keep watered regularly. Set in a sunny window.

If you prepare several sets, allow the children to carefully remove one or two of the seedlings from the soil over time. Discuss what they see, measure the stems and roots, and make drawings or take photographs to record the progress as the seed germinates and then the plant grows from day to day.

2. See our previous post for a fun quiz and seed dispersal activities.

Age Range: 6 - 9 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (February 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1426329776
ISBN-13: 978-1426329777

Check out our growing list of children's books about seeds at Science Books for Kids.

 

Disclosure: This book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Today we are taking a short break from our Mystery Seed/Seed of the Week features to take a look at a new children's fiction picture book, Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler. I found this book and thought it would be a great tie-in for children interested in seeds.

miss-maples-seeds-2

Story:  Miss Maple gathers up seeds that haven't found a place a grow and keeps them safe over the winter. In the spring she sends the seeds out to meet their destinies.

Miss Maple's Seeds has all the ingredients to become a classic children's book. It has a message about growing up that will resonate both with children and the adults who read to them, saying the biggest of trees come from small seeds. It also subtly incorporates the changes of the seasons to reinforce the theme.

The illustrations have a soft, yellowed, old-timey feel. Although this is a fictional tale, one of the illustrations is a page with drawings of 20 different types of seeds (I should point out that the "seeds" from the fern as shown in the book are actually technically spores). See how many you have investigated and can recognize.

Miss Maple's Seeds is likely to appeal to children who love nature and enjoy fairy tales. See what ideas it plants in you!

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Finding this book inspired me to create a list of children's books about seeds at Science Books for Kids. It is a work in progress and I would welcome any suggestions, particularly books about seeds for older children.

Some other ideas for seed activities with children:

  • Go outside and have a seed search (like the caterpillar hunt last week), and then identify the seeds and plants you find
  • Plant seeds and watch them grow (such as growing apricot pits)
  • Investigate how seeds get around (disperse)

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Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler

Age Range: 3 - 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (April 4, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0399257926
ISBN-13: 978-0399257926

Book was provided by my local library.

 

Disclaimer:  Linked titles go to Amazon for further information and reviews. Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.