I stumbled into one of my favorite independent bookstores in San Francisco the other night. Yes, it was Green Apple Books on Clement. It has a fabulous children’s section, filled with new and used books. Lo and behold, what did I find? Not just A bad seed, I found:
Not to be confused with all these happy-go-lucky good little seeds.
No, sirree….This seed is baaaaaad.
“How bad?” you might ask.
Just look at that crying baby!
So bad that all of the other seeds talk…
But the baaaaad seed revels in being bad, anyway. It’s defiantly baaaaaad.
“And why?” you might ask next.
“I just can’t help it.
Sure, I wasn’t always this bad. I was born a humble seed, on a simple sunflower, in an unremarkable field. I had a big family. Seeds everywhere. We found ways of having fun. We were close.”
But then something baaaaaaad happened that changed this little sunflower seed’s life, forever. I’ll give you a hint. Think baseball…..
Can Little Sunflower Seed find redemption? You’ll have to read the story to find out.
This is a terrific book to use as a read aloud. Lots of hilarious illustrations by Pete Oswald. Lots of humor for kids and adults. And lots to discuss about attitude, manners, gossip, and how a person can develop a reputation that isn’t easily overcome.
And since it’s written by Jory John of the “I Want My Hat Back” series fame, the ending isn’t saccharine. It’s fairly true to life.
Some reviewers find the seed’s transformation to be unbelievable, but I would argue that sometimes life is like that. You get to a point where you decide to make a change in your life. There’s no huge epiphany à la James Joyce.
You just decide to change. And while the change you make doesn’t mean you’re perfect from that point on, it just means that you’re trying to be better. And that’s the best we can do on any given day.
Title: The Bad Seed
Author: Jory John
Illustrator: Pete Oswald
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2017
Age Group: 4-8 years
20 thoughts on “The Bad Seed – Perfect Picture Book Friday”
Oh, why can’t a rotten PB character just decide to remain rotten? Where is that PB antihero I’ve been looking for?
I believe you would be talking about Snydley Whiplash and Natasha. Oh, how I loved that dastardly duo. Here’s where I say, “Be the change you want to see in the world. Write that Picture book!” hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa
First off, Natasha was with Boris. Snidely worked alone.
Second and more importantly, I accept your challenge. I shall write a Little Golden Book adaptation of The Wild Bunch.
Ack! You are right! I had forgotten about Boris. I cannot wait to read your book, one that will surely outsell even The Poky Little Puppy.
Looks like a fun book and one that is sorely needed in today’s climate. We could all use an attitude adjustment from time to time!
Yes, it is! I can think of more than a few adults who could benefit from reading this book. On some days, it’s me. Cheers!
I think kids love a really good baddy (pun intended) to cheer for.
I definitely agree! They want that little seed to—ah—succeed. Cheers!
This is a fun book. i agree that sometimes we focus too heavily on causation and forget that life is messy, unpredictable, and things often happen for unknown reasons. Thanks for standing up for it.
Yes! And thanks for elaborating a little more on why leaving causation as a bit of a mystery is not such a bad thing. Life is not a Disney movie.
I kept hearing Jory John’s voice as I read it. This is him to a T.
I’ve never heard his voice – got a link?
Julie, He and Mac Barnett came to my son’s school to do a Terrible Two author presentation. They were hilarious. That’s what I mean. I heard his voice then, and it’s in my head now when I read this book.
Yes, we were!!! The kids LOVED them and the way their presentation was all about pranks.
It’s in my book bag, now I can’t wait to read it to find out what happens! 🙂
Let me know what you think about the ending. Cheers!
I keep seeing a lot of reviews on this book, but this is the first time I’ve seen a lot of illustrations! Sounds like a fun book!
I think the illustrator did a great job! Lots of vignettes in this book, in addition to full spreads. Great page turns. Really well done.