From Publishers Weekly
Anno (Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jug; Anno's Hat Tricks) offers another worthy addition to his collection of playful stories with mathematical themes. A brief prelude tells of a wizard who gives happy-go-lucky Jack two golden seeds and directs him to eat one and bury the other: "I promise you it will grow and give you 2 more magic seeds in the fall." Jack does as he is told, and the cycle repeats for a number of years, until Jack decides one fall to bury both seeds. As Jack buries more and more seeds each consecutive year, readers are challenged with a series of questions ("How many seeds grew that year?"; "How many seeds did they bury?"). The mathematical gymnastics become even more rigorous as Jack marries, has a child, begins to store some seeds and sell others... until a hurricane wipes out the crops and Jack must begin all over again. Kids on the older end of the targeted age span will have fun with this, and although the arithmetic is well beyond those on the younger end, they'll enjoy Anno's lilting, linear narrative-as well as his soft, appealingly primitive watercolors. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?A happy-go-lucky young man and some magic seeds are the familiar elements of this deceptively simple tale. Anno provides the enchantment. An old man gives Jack two golden seeds and a simple formula for becoming self-sufficient. He faithfully follows the directions, eating one of the seeds, which amazingly takes care of his hunger for the year, and planting the other the following spring, which produces two new seeds. He enjoys several years of easy subsistence until he decides to fend for himself one winter and plant both seeds. The next and each successive season begin a geometric progression of harvests?2 sprouts produce 4 seeds (one of which he eats), 3 plants produce 6 seeds, 5 yield 10, etc. In no time at all, he has a bountiful surplus and shares his wealth first with Alice, who becomes his wife, and eventually their son. Even when a hurricane devastates their crops and storehouse, 10 seeds are saved and the family begins anew. Anno illustrates the multilayered story (and its mathematical operations) with his trademark spare, clear watercolors using metallic gold circles to represent the stored seeds and red ones for those that are consumed. Pictorially and conceptually, he explores the fundamental magic of planting and harvesting crops in this celebration of life and its many riches.?Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.