FICTION

Stay, Little Seed

Greystone. Apr. 2020. 28p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771646468.
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K-Gr 4–A humanized tree and one of its seedlings develop a sweet relationship in this tale of a protective parent and a child reluctant to go out into the world. “When a great wind came and blew the seeds north and south and even Who Knows Where, one tiny seed stayed.” Though the tree encourages the seed to go on its way to grow big and strong, the two find excuses to prolong the stay “for just one more day.” There’s rain, and mud, and “It would be terrible if the seed were to get a sunburn.” Giordano’s black-and-red line drawings set on creamy, yellow pages use comical shapes barely suggestive of a tree and its branches. A simple face above a large red heart is set in a squat rectangle, its wishbone-shaped branches sprouting globules varied in size. Most of these have faces, some smiling, some sleeping. These are the tree’s many seedlings. A few tiny orbs bear lines, the veins of leaves. A circular lined background for the branches suggests a bouffant hairdo for the tree. Many pages feature spare views of a branch bearing the stay-at-home seed with varied accessories: a scarf, an umbrella, a suitcase, a dress. Eventually, a passing magpie breaks the seed from its branch, sending it on its way. For seasons to come the tree misses and worries about the seed, and eventually there’s a heart-filled reunion. The simple text might serve as a bedtime story though it seems unlikely that the leaving home theme will register with pre-school children.
VERDICT A cute, sentimental tale that will appeal to those who love The Giving Tree.

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