Wednesday, February 18, 2004

One Child, One Seed

Cave, K. 2003. ONE CHILD, ONE SEED. Ill. by Gisele Wulfsohn. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0805072047

ONE CHILD, ONE SEED is a nonfiction book depicting the life cycle of a pumpkin seed. The text works on three levels. On its most basic level, it is a counting book working with the numbers one through ten. On the second level, the text works as a simple reading book giving more specific information about the family harvesting the pumpkins. On the third level, the book provides extremely specific information about the district the family is a part of in South Africa. Information is given about their homes, animals, and work industry. Every full page spread is divided into these three levels of difficulty and interest.

The text is a rarity in its format. The three levels of difficulty provided within the text make it so much easier to provide readers with text they can understand and interpret. The nonfiction text is a quality text that gives specific information concerning the location of the district in South Africa harvesting pumpkins. A map is even provided to give readers a more visual understanding of the location. Photographs are taken to depict the pumpkins in each stage of the life cycle. Hard working families are shown digging in the hot sun to make food to feed the family. Teachers and librarians can report South African pumpkin harvesting traditions. However, seeing it through photographs is a much more compelling way to portray a different way of life. This is the kind of rare, quality nonfiction book that truly meets the needs of its audience.

Children can grow something of their own such as potatoes, tomatoes, or beans. They can chart the life cycle of the produce grown. Photographs should be taken as well. After the cycle has been completed, the youngsters can make a nonfiction text of their own.

Children can discuss whether they have grown something of their own. Did their experiences mirror ONE CHILD, ONE SEED? How were the experiences similar or different?

Other books that detail the life cycle and purposes of products grown:
Aliki. CORN IS MAIZE. ISBN 0064450260
Gibbons, Gail. THE PUMPKIN BOOK. ISBN 0823416364
Gibbons, Gail. FROM SEED TO PLANT. ISBN 0823416364

By Laura K. Davis

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