Monday, May 8, 2017

Nonfiction Monday: What will grow by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani

I put off reading this for a while because the cover put me off. I can't even really explain why - the muted greens and yellows remind me of 70s artwork? Anyways, I finally picked up a copy for my growing outreach storytime and once I had opened it I fell in love, both with the text and illustrations.

Rich, colorful illustrations with sharply defined lines and curving, delicate details set the tone for this guessing game about plants. The pages alternate between full spreads of question and answer and gatefolds hiding the plant.

Each page has a rhyming couplet describing seeds, "Soft, hairy./On the prairie." followed by the titular refrain, "What will grow?" and the opposite page shows the plant against its background. "Milkweed" shows fluffy, floating seeds, plants in various stages of bloom, and a ladybug and butterfly tasting the flowers. Pages with gatefolds follow the same theme, but the plant is hidden behind a full-page folding flap. There are four spreads with gatefolds.

The "clues" may be too difficult for children (and adults) but there are multiple clues in the illustrations making it easy for a toddler to guess "carrots" or "apples", even if they don't recognize the seeds. Back matter includes planting instructions for each of the seeds listed and an illustration of the progress from seed to plant, as seen in a sunflower.

Verdict: There are so many applications for this book for storytime or a lesson with young children about planting, growing, seeds, and more. Discussion points include how the seeds of each plant are scattered, their growing conditions (as seen in the pictures), the animals which use them, and more. A definite must for your collection and for storytime.

ISBN: 9781681190303; Published February 2017 by Bloomsbury; Borrowed from another library in my constorium


Annette said...

It's pretty much impossible to keep from (initially) judging a book by its cover, isn't it?

Jennifer said...

Well, that's what covers are for!