Meet seeds that pop, hop, creep, and explode in this lyrical introduction to plant growth and seed dispersal. Stunning photographs and fact-packed text showcase the role of seed features and functions in creating a new generation of plants. Complete with an illustrated glossary, resources, and an index, A Seed Is the Start inspires wonder as it encourages budding botanists of all ages to look with new eyes at plants and their seeds.
Honors and Awards
Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries Annual Literature Award Nominee
CYBILS Elementary Nonfiction Award Nominee
Green Earth Book Award Long List
Nonfiction Detectives Best Science Books of the Year
Scholastic Book Club Pick
Behind the Book
“The idea for this book came from this Pinterest board. I was amazed by the stunning close-up photos of seeds and wanted to know why they have so many unusual shapes. After doing some research, I discovered that a seed's shape has a lot to do with how it disperses. Seeds can be transported by wind, water, or hitching a ride on an animal's fur. Some even hop or creep along the ground.
“I was fascinated, and I knew kids would be, too. I also knew that this topic cried out to be photo illustrated, so I wrote up a proposal with some sample spreads and sent it to my editor at National Geographic. Since National Geographic is well known for its world renowned photo collection, I was sure it would be the best publisher for this book.
“Luckily, my editor was as excited as I was, and I soon had a contract.
“While I was working on the book, I visited Wealthy Elementary School in East Grand Rapids, MI, and discovered the second graders were studying … seeds! Their ideas helped me shape the book into a resource that’s perfect for elementary classrooms. I was so grateful for the students’ help that I dedicated the book to them.”
“Engaging text and crisp nature photography capture the surprisingly dynamic journey of seeds as they grow, travel, sprout, and trigger the cycle anew. Action verbs abound as seeds ‘fly,’ ‘float,’ ‘pop,’ and even ‘ride,’ to name a few… Ample, legible typeface, along with arrows and other indicators, make for an intuitive reading experience.”
—School Library Journal
“Stewart offers an inviting and visually compelling introduction to an essential concept.”
—Publishers Weekly
“A Seed Is the Start is a highly recommended purchase for school libraries, classrooms and public libraries. It could be read as part of a plant unit in an elementary classroom and could be used for science programming and story time in a public library. Publishers and authors of nonfiction should take note of A Seed Is the Start as an example of excellent book design, layout, visuals, and quality science writing aimed at very young readers.”
—The Nonfiction Detectives
“Whenever Melissa Stewart sets out to do a bit of science writing, it’s always interesting. She reiterates common knowledge briefly as a reminder, but always delves deeper to find the odd and fascinating details that catch the imagination of kids and adults alike … This book features excellent in-set close-up photos, engaging design, and strong font delineation between the shorter lilting text at the tops of pages and the more "meaty" text boxes elsewhere on the pages. Perfect for any class doing lessons on seeds, plant adaptations, gardening, and #outdoorlearning.”
—Christopher Hunt, school librarian, Chilliwack, British Columbia
“Meet seeds that pop, hop, creep, and explode in this vividly illustrated introduction to the simplest concepts of botany. The story, which is perfect for elementary school Common Core learning, carefully highlights the many ways that seeds get from here to there, engaging children's curiosity with strong action verbs. Stunning photographs with fact-packed captions provide supporting details, explaining the role of seed features and functions in creating new generations of plants. Complete with an illustrated glossary and back matter featuring more resources, this book inspires wonder as it encourages budding botanists of all ages to look with new eyes at plants and their seeds.
—Reading through Life
“Melissa Stewart shows us once again that she is a master at crafting engaging nonfiction sure to sustain the interest of young readers and cause them to wonder and explore subjects beyond the text. Loved this book.”
—Dylan Teut, Instructor of Literacy and Plum Creek Children's
Literacy Festival Director, Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska
A Seed is the Start
by Melissa Stewart
National Geographic
Books for Children, 2018
for ages 6-9
ISBN 978-1-42632-977-7
Purchase this book at your local independent bookseller or
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