Author: Julie Fogliano
Author Website: https://www.facebook.com/Julie-Fogliano-1581665045413312/
Illustrator: Erin E. Stead
Publisher: A Neal Porter Book ROARING BROOK Press
Word Count: 170
This story is perfect for ages: 4-6, 6+
Straight from Aunty LuLav
If you love books celebrating the seasons of the earth, this one is for you. The text is simple, gentle, and unassuming, just like this special time of year.
A little boy, with his pets, the dog, the bunny and the turtle, plant seeds in the earth in the “brown” of late Winter. They patiently wait for rain and signs of growth and the “green” of Spring to arrive.
The precious seeds hit some bumps in the road, as the groggy bears stomp them, and the songbirds feast on them, but eventually the miracle of growth materializes and Spring arrives in all of its “greenness.”
Scriptural Underpinnings & Positive Themes
I think the minimal text allows us plenty of room for discussion.
AHHH but just because there’s room, doesn’t necessarily mean we have to have a word jam of reflections. . . .
Patience is a virtue – FOR SURE! it is also a fruit of the spirit that you grow into just like the little seeds – slowly and methodically. There are many passages in the scripture about Patience and Long-suffering and Waiting on the Lord. Here are a few.
Galatians 5:22 – Patience is a fruit of the spirit.
James 5:7-9 – compares the patience of the Farmer who plants the seeds and waits for the rains to bring forth fruit, to the patience we need as we wait for the return of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:9 – the Lord is being patient with us, waiting for all to come to Him.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient and endures all things
Psalm 40:2 – We wait patiently for the Lord, to hear our cry and turn to us
There are so many passage in the scripture about the blessings and rewards of being diligent and faithful to your work. Here are JUST a few!
Colossians 3:23 One of my favorites, that whatever we do we should work at it diligently as working for the Lord not for man.
Proverbs 8:17 God assures us if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him.
Hebrews 11:6 God promises that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Proverbs 10:4, 13:4. 21:5 + teach that diligence leads to prosperity.
This story has a lot to do with HOPE. The whole Bible is a book about HOPE. Rest assured I won’t quote it all here, but two significant passages are:
Romans 8:24 – If you are hoping for something, it is for something UNSEEN (Just like those seeds). If you SEE what you are hoping for, then you don’t need HOPE at all!
Hebrews 11:1 – the definition of Faith – it is the things for which we HOPE that are sill UNSEEN.
SEASONS CHANGE – FAITHFULNESS OF FATHER GOD
There are also so many scriptures dealing with Seasons and God’s faithfulness in this. Here are a few for discussion starters.
Genesis 1:14 – God creates the seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – to everything there is a season – So much wisdom here
PARABLE of the SEEDS
Luke 8 – Jesus taught an awesome parable about seed being scattered to grow and about the different types of soil where it fell. This precious book gives a perfect opportunity to talk about that as these seeds pass through a few troubles of their own, but eventually they grow.
The illustrations in this book are simple and soft on your eyes. The color pallet is perfect in depicting that season of waiting as we slowly, slowly pass from Winter to Spring!
The use of browns and pale sky depict the weather of late Winter so perfectly! Erin E. Stead warms up the pallet as the days pass and the green of Spring finally arrives! The little boy’s clothing also changes with the warming.
The illustrations tell much of the story. They are loaded with action, but quiet, quiet, quiet. Just like late Winter.
The little boy and his faithful companions the dog, the rabbit and the turtle, plant seeds and wait. The wild song birds accompany them in almost every illustration, and at one point, feast on the seeds!
Stomping bears, burrowing mice & chipmunks, tunnel-digging worms and ants are all present, waiting for Spring to arrive.
I categorize this as a science book, because the illustrations are based around nature and seasons and growth.
My favorite illustration shows the underground action of the burrowing critters and growing seed roots, as at the same time, the little boy and his companions, listen and ponder from above ground.
Soft, simple, gentle, quiet, yet awesome.
So many subplots in the illustrations. So much to talk about.
Erin E. Stead is a Caldecott Medal Winner (A Sick Day for Amos McGee 2010).
A rural farm setting and the little boy is caucasian.
The End of the Matter4/5 waves
I’m Waving my Lulav for this one
and scattering seeds for the upcoming Harvest!