Sprout, Seed, Sprout!

Sprout, Seed, Sprout! illus. by Carey Sookocheff. 32p. Owlkids. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771473088.
PreS-Gr 1-This book celebrates the act of bringing forth the new life held within a seed by adding water, providing sunlight and soil, and waiting patiently. Actions are described in three steps, three-word phrases are used, and words are often repeated three times. The narrative begins when a young boy retrieves an avocado pit that squirts away from his father. When the child pokes the seed with toothpicks and places it at the top of a glass of water, the action is simply described: "One glass of water. Two careful hands. Three pointy toothpicks. Poke. Poke. Poke." When nothing seems to be happening after the seed is transplanted, the boy undertakes "three drastic measures": he sings to the seed, he plants two lucky coins near it, and he brings three supportive friends to stand guard (his cat and two toys). The story ends with the avocado tree at three years old. The storytelling is gentle, and the palette is muted, dominated by large white spaces and blues and greens with splashes of terra-cotta.
VERDICT With its subtle repetition of words and its focus on the concepts of one, two, and three, this is a delightful teaching book for young children who love nature.-Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, CA

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