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The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle) Hardcover – March 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This picture book admirably conveys the miracle of a seed. Flower pods burst and dispatch their seeds on the wind; the air-borne seeds are subject to myriad disasters; and the ones that make it through the perils of the seasons to become mature flowering plants are still susceptible to being picked, trod upon and otherwise damaged. But nature allows for survivors, and so the tiny seed grows into a giant flower, releasing its seeds and continuing the cycle. As he has demonstrated with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other books, Carle has an extraordinary kinship with nature. Here we have not just the explanation of the life of a flower, but drama, lessons of life and a lovely spirituality. This is a reissue of the original 1970 edition, with expanded, expansive collage illustrations. The pages, like the seed pods, burst with color. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
In autumn, a strong wind blows flower seeds high in the air and carries them far across the land. One by one, many of the seeds are lost -- burned by the sun, fallen into the ocean, eaten by a bird. But some survive the long winter and, come spring, sprout into plants, facing new dangers -- trampled by playing children, picked as a gift for a friend. Soon only the tiniest seed remains, growing into a giant flower and, when autumn returns, sending its own seeds into the wind to start the process over again.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cute book but it loses its appeal when it does not have what I specifically wanted out of this purchase. It would have been a nice little project to go along with the story.
Can I have a $1.50 credit? Since I now need to go purchase some tiny seeds?
This book doesn't disappoint in the artwork, although I wish the tiny seed had been more obvious somehow from the rest. And this book does ultimately have a positive message that even a tiny seed can grow into the biggest flower of all. But it gets to this message in a weird way- sort of a survival of the fittest but this fit seed stays on a middle path. For example, it doesn't fly too high because the seed that did caught fire (Icarus reference by the way, right?). Or the one that flew in the wind too low near the water which drowned. So I'm not sure about this- I want my son to try to fly high and to take chances. And although I want him to do this within reason, I'm not sure a younger child can pick up on this subtle lesson. I'm even conflicted about this and not sure it was the intended message. (By the way, it says Age 2 and up on the description for this item)
But what bothers me more is the use of strong, intense words for the fate of the other seeds. One is said to die, another drowns, another catches fire. My son is very sensitive to emotions and feelings. He picked up early on this as what I believe is part of his own nature. And he recently learned the word "kill" from a trip to grandma's house (she didn't know the difference between Nickelodeon and Nick Jr!) and somewhere else about death (I think it is from the goldfish he buried at another trip to grandma's house! Don't worry they love him and just forgot what kids are like since he is their first grandchild, but they are remembering!). So the fate of these seeds was a little intense. Although I did explain why it caught fire, I've so far chosen not to use the drowned word or the died word. I say something like they cannot grow (which is language from another part of the book too).
The end of the story is positive as the tiny seed that became the biggest more beautiful flower now sheds its seeds into the wind continuing the cycle of life. Of course, my son's first reaction was sadness that the flower lost its petals. So we talked about this and it was a good discussion about how life and nature is a cycle.
So overall, I believe this book means to send positive messages. But it may lead to some discussion and initial confusion in a child who is sensitive.