I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree contains a nature poem for every day of the year, selected by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Frann Preston Gannon.
As a child, did you ever have a book that looked and felt more than just ‘a book’? As in, the mere size of it, or the illustration on the front cover alone was enough to make you want to devour it? Well, this is one of those books. I’m not a child anymore *sigh*, but when I bought this book I felt that same rush of pure joy I would have as a child, like I’d been given not a book, but a treasure chest, one where there is new treasure every time you open it…
This poetry anthology, a collaboration between The National Trust and publishers Nosy Crow, is definitely a ‘treasure chest’ book. It’s large and heavy, has a cloth-bound spine with a ribbon page marker (always a marker of fanciness in a book I find!) and is the kind of book you can lay on the carpet with and fall in to.
The first thing that struck me about this book was Frann Preston Gannon’s illustrations. They are simple, child-like yet so appealing. The colours on the page echo the colours of the seasons – muted cool tones for winter; fresh, sharp greens for spring; rich and vibrant for summer, fading to hazy golden shades for autumn. The poems have been carefully selected to be accessible to children and to compliment each other on the page as the reader passes through the seasons.
I initially bought this book for my children as a nice alternative to a bedtime story; my eldest son, who is 4 has loved finding the right day and ‘singing’ the poem to me (I say ‘singing’-it’s more like a Sondheim musical number/ experimental free-form jazz…) and as he is a stickler for rules, we’re only allowed to read the right poem for the right day, no peeking at tomorrow’s!