"Sally" is going on sabbatical to write a book.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Dandelion Seed Dreams

The Dandelion Seed's Big Dream
by Joseph Anthony; illus. by Chris Arbo
32 pages; ages 4-10
 Dawn Publications, 2014

 Theme: nature, life cycle

"Once a little seed took to the sky. It had a dream..."

The tiny seed soars, filled with possibilities. But the wind shifts, it nearly loses its fluffy parachute, and it ends up in the wrong place. But it would not let go of its dream

What I like about this book: While the text tells the universal story of hanging on to one's dream - a bit philosophical for any seed - the illustrations tell the "true" story of seed flight, overwintering, and germinating in the spring when conditions are just right. They also show the story of children and their adult friends coming together to clean up a bit of trash-strewn land and turn it into a community garden. I especially like the ending - and the underlying thought that dandelions are beautiful and have a place in our world.

There's also good information in the back: a detailed introduction to dandelion plant parts, and short discussion on "flower or weed" as well as some history, and some things to do.

Beyond the Book (activities and more)
Take a Sock Walk. Get a pair of old white socks that no one will miss - and that are big enough to fit over your shoes. Moth-eaten wool socks work well, too. Pull the socks on, and go for a walk through tall grass and weedy places. Seeds from dandelions and other plants may stick to your socks. When you come back home, gently pull off the socks. Take a close look at the seeds using a magnifying lens. Draw them. Can you figure out what plants they came from?

Turn your sock into a garden. National Wildlife Federation has great instructions for how to turn a seed-full sock into a living garden. Have fun!

How far do seeds travel? If you can find some parachute-topped seeds (asters, dandelions, milkweed) collect a few. Then release them and try to measure how far they float or ride the breeze. You might need a friend to help - and skip the ruler; use the length of your stride to estimate distances. Alternatively, you could use a stopwatch (or watch with a second hand) to determine how long a parachute-topped seed can stay aloft.

Check out this interview with author Joseph Anthony.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.


14 comments:

  1. I see a theme developing this week . . . SEEDS! Thanks for the review. I love the idea of a sock walk. 'Never heard of that before!

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    1. sock walks are fun - we did it once with the kids, using old wool socks over their shoes. So many burrs and seeds!

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  2. What an unusual idea about using seeds to encourage kids to hold onto their dreams. I really love your activities with the socks and seeds. That was knew to me. Could see that as a class project.

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  3. I love a dandelion POV and that it too has a special place in this world. Beautiful.

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    1. a fellow gardener once told me that dandelions are "earth nails" - they hold the soil when it rains, until our other plants come up. (then it's "off with their pretty yellow heads!")

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  4. I really like the idea of a "sock walk." This sounds like fun. I'll have to give the book a look-see. Thanks!

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  5. Seeds seem to be everywhere today! What a fun idea to take a sock walk! I don't need socks - In the spring and summer I collect all kinds of seeds while I'm out and about doing my canine thing. The Mom Person just shakes her head.

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    1. let Mom Person know that she can comb those seeds out of your hair and plant them to see what they turn out to be. You are such a wonderful agent of dispersal!

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  6. Now it's coming into spring in our part of the world it's all about seedlings turning into spring flowers. A beautiful time of year. I loved the book review and the idea that even such a small thing as a seed has big dreams, too. Thank you.

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  7. Love the idea of a little seed embodying dreams. Loved your resources, too. Thanks for introducing this book to us. I am putting it on hold at my library. :)

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    1. seed dreams - what a jumping off place for writing, eh?

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  8. What an interesting blend of fact and fiction. We'll have to add this to our springtime planting booklist.

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  9. Golly, Sue, great minds think alike - it must be seed week :) Love the look of this book - what a gorgeous cover! - and the message it carries and your fabulous activities! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  10. Oh, I like your activity. We'll find this one. Thanks.

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