This lyrical nonfiction picture book is a celebration of weeds, plants that have adapted to survive and thrive in almost any conditions. In appreciating weeds' amazing capacity to survive, we can appreciate our own tenacity, strength, beauty and joy in the face of challenges.
Adaptable weeds find ways to spread themselves and their seeds, to grow in strange places, and to be loved and admired.
Mixed-media digital collage illustrations on double-page spreads
follow a girl and her dog through a world of weeds, from seeds to
flowers. Sometimes—as in an image of milkweed seeds shooting from a
pod—these pictures focus on the weeds themselves; sometimes they include
parts of the girl or dog; and some are full scenes. Weed seeds wait
through a winter snow. They bake on hot sidewalks. They sprout “in a
tangle of tree roots” and flower into “umbrellas of the finest white
lace.” Some shatter and spread when pulled; others avoid being eaten,
thanks to thorns and poisons. The hand-lettered alliterative text
provides a simple introduction to the idea of weeds. With very few lines
to each page, it reads aloud smoothly. The author, a California-based
nature educator, includes a “Meet the Weeds” afterword, defining them as
plants growing where they aren’t wanted and describing 24 common U.S.
weeds, from dandelions to wild oats. A small, suggestive image
accompanies each description.
Neither formal introduction nor field guide, this unusual reminder of
weeds’ admirable qualities nevertheless merits a place on the
nature-study shelf of preschool and early-elementary classrooms. (Informational picture book. 3-7)