Coming Up Next! If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay
IF YOU HOLD A SEED
AND MAKE A WISH...
SOMETHING CAN HAPPEN.
A seed is such a small thing, on its own in his hand it is lifeless and still. But if a small boy plants it in the ground and waits patiently, a lot can happen. In his yellow slicker with an umbrella over his head, he waits through the warm spring rain. With his head on the ground, he listens for something to happen beneath the soil.
And a small sprout appears, and soon the boy arranges a sunshade to protect the seedling from the summer sun, and waters it. barefoot, by hand.
WHEN SUMMER COMES, THERE MIGHT BE A BEE...
OR PERHAPS A BUTTERFLY.
AND THEY WILL SPREAD SOME MAGIC.
The boy waits through autumn and the snowy winter. He grows and so does his tree. In a few years, he can pitch his little tent beneath it for his first brave outdoor sleepover. But the magic continues, and one day the wish will truly come true.
THE TREE WILL HOLD YOU.
Elly MacKay's lovely If You Hold a Seed (Running Press Kids, 2013) tells the old story of planting a tree and watching it grow. The magic in this story is in MacKay's layered tissue collage illustrations, overlaid with color in which her retro-styled designs glow with light from within with a touch of the magic she describes. The artist's final scene shows the boy, now grown up, with his own son, sharing a seat on a branch of their tree as the cycle of life goes on. This is a special lyrical look at spring magic and the wonders of trees that carries a lovely message, text and art becoming one, for the young. Publishers Weekly puts it this way: "Glowing paper dioramas are the heart and soul of MacKay's debut. . . ."
Pair this one with another delightful song of spring, Julie Fogliano's and Ellen Stead's Caldecott Medal book, And Then It's Spring (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards)). (Read my review here.)