Thursday, August 25, 2011

Worldly Wednesday: The Seed by Isabel Pin

 Several years ago, I came across The Seed, a picture book by French author/illustrator Isabel Pin (North-South Books).  Loved it, bought a copy, and refer to it again and again when teaching writing to kids.

What do I love about it?

  • It has a folk tale style (by now you all know I love cultural tales...).

  • The illustrations are unique and amazing (albeit maybe a little edgy/scary for small children...but mine really loved the scarabs).

  • The language isn't kiddish.  Part of this can be chalked up to Rosemary Lanning's translation, of course.  But the big words and terms used in the book (inventiveness, summoned, etc.) are appealing to me as a mother and teacher–I like a challenge for my kids.

The downsides to the book were, perhaps, an oversimplified ending (although this is a kid's tale, and I love seeing war avoided) and the fact that a few darkly illustrated pages make text a bit hard to read.

Now, in recommending this book - here's the tricky part:  it's very hard to come across copies of it!  You'll have to scour eBay and Amazon used listings, etc., to find it.  But if you're looking for something a little twisted and different, and with BOY appeal (yes, a book boys will like!) - it's worth searching out a copy.

What out-of-print, worldly book do you just love?

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