I am a sucker for beautifully done cycle-of-life stories and Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed is one of them. The art is typically exuberant and imaginative. The words are simple and evocative. It’s a book that would make perfect sense to a very small child and is so well written that even a grown-up can understand it.
The adventure begins in autumn when the wind blows a scatter of flower seeds high across the land. One seed is much tinier than the rest but it, too, is caught up in the air and sent flying. It barely keeps up with the others as they encounter the hazards of nature. A seed flies too high and is burnt up by the sun, another lands on an icy mountain. As the tiny seed slows and drops lower, one seed falls into the ocean and is eaten by a fish. Another lands on the parched desert and dies. When all of the remaining seeds finally fall to earth, hungry birds and mice compete with winter to threaten their survival and spring brings its own challenges.
Learn about the conditions for seed germination, what it means to pick a pretty wildflower, how a random patch of shade can stunt growth and how the tiniest bits of life can become the most fabulous and impressive. By summer, magical things are happening to flower seeds and the winged creatures that visit them. And then the days are shorter and a chill wind begins to blow–a wind that could shake loose a handful of tiny seeds and send them tumbling far and wide.
So thank you, Eric Carle, for yet another lovely glimpse of nature from the brush of a genius through the delighted, all-knowing eyes of a child.
The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle) Eric Carle | Simon & Schuster 1987