Author: Selznick, Brian
Sycamore seed siblings Merwin and Louise must use their wits and imaginations to navigate a mysterious and often dangerous world, filled with talking plants, monsters, meteors, and the fear of never finding the right conditions to set down roots and become big trees.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 519253
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/23)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/23)
Booklist (+) (12/01/23)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/03/23)
The Hornbook (+) (00/05/23)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2023 *Starred Review* Two sycamore-seed siblings, Merwin and Louise, nestle in their seed ball, waiting for the time that their dear mother tree has prepared them for, when they’ll float free and set down roots of their own. Louise is eager to explore, and she’s certain she’s heard whispers from afar that the world needs her help, though exactly how is unclear. Their comfortable Cretaceous existence is upended when a vast fungal network brings news of impending danger and a run-in with a dinosaur sends the seeds flying much earlier than anticipated. They know it’s imperative to find the perfect place to land—too little or too much of anything could prove disastrous. But to fulfill their destiny, they’ll have to navigate a wide world filled with wonder and uncertainty. Initially conceived as a film idea that Steven Spielberg hoped Selznick would spin into a screenplay, the astonishing story is at once vast and intimate, succeeding as both a small-scale adventure story and a broader exploration of the natural world. Glorious pencil drawings, moving swiftly from macro to micro lenses, turn wispy seeds into spritely, darling protagonists, and wordless sketched reveals that follow text interludes are sure to elicit gasps of surprise and delight. Detailed endnotes explain the incredible science inspiring much of the story. An enthralling and expansive meditation on what it means to be alive on this planet. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2023 Gr 2–8—Selznick returns with a majestically illustrated, modern-day parable. Sycamore seeds Louise and Merwin are suddenly separated from their mama tree due to a conflagration. They are thrust into a dangerous world of dinosaurs and volcanoes, hoping to set down roots somewhere safe. Throughout their treacherous journey, the stars speak to Louise, hinting at a possible life-changing event on the horizon. Along the way, they meet The Ambassadors (mycorrhizal fungi), Spot (a butterfly), King Seaweed, and The Scientists (Foraminifera). Originally meant for a Spielberg-produced animated film, this tale, with its combination of a childlike narrative and profound illustrations, presents a big, universal story of taking care of the miraculous Earth on which we live. Selznick's signature art was created with pencil on hot pressed watercolor paper, and the texture and nuance of these nearly 300 pages will strike wonder in every reader. In the back matter, Selznick explains the science behind the story, including dinosaurs, asteroids, and the beginning of life on Earth. It also features a selected bibliography and a poem by W.S. Merwin, the seed's namesake. Weighty themes of connectedness, conservation, and the impact that one small voice can have on the fate of the universe might feel unfathomable and too big for children, but in Selznick's hands, this poignant fable will resonate with all readers, young and old. VERDICT A special, one-of-a-kind book for the whole family that readers won't soon forget—Shelley M. Diaz - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.