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A Seed Is Sleepy Hardcover – March 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 1-4–Another contemplative look at the natural world from the pair who created An Egg Is Quiet (Chronicle, 2006). This introduction to seeds and plants uses simple sentences that will stretch children's minds and imaginations. Each spread is devoted to the seed's many attributes, including adventurous, inventive, generous, ancient, and clever. The text then builds on these descriptors with interesting facts: It knows to seek the sunlight.... The author does not shy away from words that children may be unfamiliar with; rather, she constructs sentences that define these words in terms that children can understand: Not all seeds are eager to germinate. Some have lain dormant, or slept undisturbed, for more than a thousand years. Long's ink-and-watercolor sketches, full of rich color and intricate detail, merit high praise. Readers not yet familiar with cursive writing may experience some difficulty deciphering portions of the text independently, but this book is a wonderful addition to units that focus not only on seeds and plants, but also on writing and the language arts.–Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this follow-up to An Egg Is Quiet (2006), the creators offer another beautifully illustrated introduction to an aspect of the natural world. This time, the topic is seeds, and once again, Long's masterful watercolors dominate each spread, which includes text on two levels. Short poetic phrases in large print, aimed at younger children, give seeds accessible, anthropomorphic qualities: "A seed is sleepy"; "A seed is adventurous." Paragraphs in smaller print, which tackle science concepts and expand on the phrases, are geared to older readers. The format, with little space devoted to text, doesn't always allow for thorough explanations, and kids will need help with many facts and terms. But the elegant watercolor pictures, which include helpful charts depicting a seed's growth into a plant, will pull children into the basic botany, while the pages filled with enticingly detailed seeds, both common and exotic, will encourage kids to wonder about the plant world's mysterious, gorgeous spectrum of possibilities. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Lexile Measure: AD750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811855201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811855204
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first glance, this book appears to be a simple ode to seeds with beautiful drawings. Each page contains a sentence that starts with "A seed is..." followed by an adjective. However, the author then gives us fascinating factual information about why the adjective describes seeds. This is a great way to teach kids about seeds and also allow them to epose them to a multitude of seeds they would otherwise have never seen! Also check out the companion book, "An Egg is Quiet."
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Format: Hardcover
Wow--sometimes a book comes along that is truly outstanding! The text is captivating, telling stories that fascinate young and old readers alike about all sorts of seeds-- many I bet an amateur botanist will have never heard about! The same with the attractive illustrations-- just gorgeous! My kids are learning Botany this semester at Homeschool Co-op and this volume is an excellent enrichment. We have the authors' other one as well--An Egg Is Quiet--also excellent!
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Format: Hardcover
I have read this book to my 6 & 8 yr old grandkids. Actually, my 8-yr old read most of it to me. Beyond what the other reviewers say, this book will be attractive to kids over a range of ages -- and interesting over more than 1 year -- because at one end, a good part of the text is readable, even poetic, and nontechnical; and another part is rather technical, meaning that the kids will learn something new each time they read it. (Such as about monocots and dicots.) Both of my children did seed projects in school and this fits right in; adding things and affirming others. Also, the illustrations are very good -- and I have had a few botany courses.

I do have a small reservation: saying that a seed leaps out of its pod or is sleepy. But I explained to the kids that these words were being used poetically and they seemed unbothered by it.
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Format: Hardcover
Sometimes a book is so lovely, it is difficult to review. You just want to throw a bunch of words out, like, "stunning," "superb," "gorgeous," and "accomplished." There. I'm done. No? Okay, then, on with the review.

Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long team up again after their Cybils Non-Fiction Award-winning "An Egg is Quiet." Now I know what all the fuss is about. Aston takes a non-fiction topic and turns it into a lyrical work of genius. In "A Seed is Sleepy" the seed is the topic du jour. Now we've all read a non-fiction title or two about seeds. But Aston's genius is taking the mundane and making it beautiful. Take the opening page, for example:

A seed is sleepy.

It lies there, tucked inside its flower,

or its cone, or beneath the soil. Snug. Still.

Rendered in open, easy-to-read cursive, these lines are pure poetry and set the frame for the book. Each double-page spread begins with a similar seed statement and Dianna Hutts Aston's choices are always unexpected. My favorite is "A seed is inventive" and is followed by:

To find a spot to grow,

A seed might leap from its pod,

[violet]

or cling to a

child's shoestring,

[cocklebur]

or tumble through

a bear's belly.

[Red huckleberry]

A seed hopes to land where

there is plenty of

sunlight, soil, and water.

Sylvia Long's ink and watercolor illustrations are worthy of any nineteenth-century illustrated nature classic. Full color and lush, you want to snip each one out and make a gorgeous collage until you remember you'd destroy this amazing book.

"A Seed is Sleepy" will be enjoyed by children of all ages and all tastes. The story fan will appreciate Aston's way with words, while the non-fiction freak will relish the information presented. And the best news? Parents won't be bored reading this one aloud, either.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great illustrations. Love the variety of seeds and the beautiful, colorful, detailed drawings. I have read both versions of this book, and the printed book experience is infinitely superior to the kindle version. Share this wonderful book (and the others in this series, especially the egg book) with your children, but make sure you purchase the non-electronic version. This is a book to be savored that invites repeat viewings. Suitable for all ages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I checked this one out from the library and then decided I had to have it for my classroom. The illustrations are frame worthy! It makes informational text approachable and easy to understand! A truly great find.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully illustrated book. The illustrations make me want to read again and again and learn to identify the many seeds shown. It is a very educational read as well and clearly explains a lot about various seeds. Perfect for homeschooling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has it all. Beautiful artwork, accurate and accessible content, and a poetic style. It also contains tier 2 descriptive vocabulary associated with the seeds, plus a drawing of the parts of a seed. It makes a great read aloud engagement for my science lesson on engineering a seed that can 'fly'. This book would work for primary to older students. I just wish I could locate actual samples of some of the more unusual seeds mentioned.
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