I’m really keen for the children to understand the natural world around them and so I was thrilled when a copy of the beautiful book, It Starts With A Seed by Laura Knowles and wonderfully illustrated by Jennie Webber (Words & Pictures) arrived a week or so ago.
The book itself is an absolute delight. It looks and feels beautiful. It is beautifully presented with textured matt paper and gold embossed lettering; it is the the sort of book that you just run your hands along and just enjoy.
The story is a delightful poem all about how life starts with a seed which the reader follows as it lands on the ground and transforms to a sapling, then to a large tree that covers the entire page and is home to many creatures. It is perfect for teaching children about the life cycle of the tree as well as giving them a wider understanding of the creatures that make a tree their home. It is great for this time of year (autumn) when the seeds of many trees, including the sycamore, can be found along the ground. I know Mr D and Miss E have delighted in seeing the seeds as we have walked.
I adore this book so much and both the children have turned to it time and again. When we look at life cycles again in the spring I know this will be a book that will feature heavily. We will be heading out for a walk this week to our local park and I plan to get the children to collect some sycamore seeds and we will be doing a little project using them so do revisit the blog to see what we do. We will most certainly be using the final fold out pages to look at the leaves and seeds we collect and comparing against the images.
A word must go to the illustrator of this book, Jennie Webber. All too often illustrators are forgotten about but in reality for children’s books the illustrator is just as important as the writer. Without Webber’s wonderfully delicate but detailed images the text written by Laura Knowles wouldn’t be as beautiful. The two together inspire a sense of wonder as the beauty of the natural world. You can see a short video here about the artwork for this book.
Some suggested activities for this book include:
- A woodland walk to collect leaves and seeds – perhaps look to identify the leaves you find
- Create pictures of trees using different media to represent spring, summer, autumn and winter (you could use leaves collected on your woodland walk to do this).
- Encourage children to look around trees for signs of animal life; nests for birds, rabbit droppings, signs of foxes and hedgehogs.
- Grow a plant from seed; take pictures to record its progress so the children can remember it from its beginnings as a simple seed
- Take part in the Tree Council’s Seed Gathering Exercise – see more here.
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