The Bad Seed – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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

  1. Maria Marshall says:

    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.

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