Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
The author of Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star returns with another interactive picture book that is a companion to the first two. The child first plants the seeds by pressing them into the ground. They wiggle their fingers to water them. Then comes sunshine and rain. A hungry snail has to be hurried on its way. And all the while the plants are growing and growing. Then come the flowers, bright zinnias of purple, orange and red. The flowers fade and soon there are new seeds to be scattered.
This book shows the cycle from seed to plant to flower to seed in a simple and very approachable way. While it won’t work well for large groups, smaller groups of children or single children will love the interactive component and the feeling that they are gardening along with the book. The book incorporates plenty of other nature as well with snails, bees, birds and butterflies on the page. There is also lots for parents and children to talk about, making the book even more interactive.
Matheson’s illustrations are bright and simple. She keeps the plants in the same spot on each page, so the weather and creatures provide movement and changes. Deep brown soil richly frames the bottom of the pages and most of them have a clear white as a background that lets the simple illustrations pop.
A great way to explore the life cycle of plants, this picture book is simple and friendly enough for toddlers to enjoy. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from HarperCollins.
Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Released February 14, 2017.
Continuing the Lola series, this book is all about Lola wanting a pet of her own. Lola’s mother says that cats are a lot of work, so Lola researches about cats and starts to practice on her stuffed toy cat, Dinah. Eventually, her mother agrees that Lola can have her own cat. They go to the shelter where one cat picks out Lola. The family shops for all of the items they will need to take care of their new pet. Lola practices a lot of patience, letting her new pet settle in before trying to play. The two of them steadily become great friends with lots of snuggles.
There is a gorgeous warmth to all of the Lola books and this one is no exception. The strong family dynamic is shown once again here as well with Lola’s parents making sure that she is capable of caring for a pet before allowing her to have one. The book has a strong focus not only on Lola’s wishes for a pet but on the importance of allowing the pet to be happy as well.
Beardshaw’s illustrations are full of small details that add to the warm feel. There are drawings of cats around the rooms. Lola’s interest in cats is evident from her patterned pajamas to the barrette in her hair to the decorations in her room. As she practices to own a cat, the emphasis is on effort not perfection as Lola spills water. All of these elements add up to show children that they too can one day care for an animal in their own way.
A lovely book about pet ownership that shows the importance of giving a new pet space and time to find their own way. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Charlesbridge.